Caption: Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson speaking during the ceremony (Image: Stena Line)
China’s AVIC Weihai Shipyard cut the steel for the first of Stena Line’s four new ro-pax ferries on 25 August.
To be delivered between 2019 and 2020, the four ferries will be 50% larger than today’s standard ro-pax vessels, allowing them to accommodate 1,000 passengers and 120 cars and 3,100 lane metres. They will play a key role in Stena’s ro-pax strategy, which mixes freight and passengers as part of its operational business model.
“Through standardisation and built-in flexibility, we are planning to secure a highly reliable ferry operation, which will provide even better support to our customers and help them to grow,” said Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line. “We foresee continued growth within ferry transportation and this is an important step in preparing our business for that growth. At this stage, we are planning to introduce the vessels onto the Irish Sea.”
In addition to offering a full range of passenger services, Stena’s four newbuilds will also be fitted with sustainable technology to decrease their carbon footprint and emissions.
“The new ro-pax vessels will be among the most fuel efficient in the world with approximately 25% lower carbon dioxide emissions per cargo unit than comparable ro-pax tonnage,” said Mårtensson. “Our aim is to lead the development of sustainability within the shipping industry and set a new industry standard when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competitiveness. The vessels will run on traditional fuel, but are designed to the class notation ‘gas ready’ and are also prepared for scrubbers and catalytic converters, giving us even greater flexibility for the future.”
Stena has the option to extend its contract with AVIC Wehai Shipyard to cover four more vessels.