Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

INTERVIEW Still innovating at 60 As Stena Line celebrates its 60th anniversary, Ian Hampton gives Michele Witthaus an insight into the brand’s enduring success When Stena Line’s owner, Dan Sten Olsson, launched his company in 1963, he wanted the new business to embody three key qualities when interacting with customers: welcoming, caring and reliable. For Stena Line’s chief operating officer fleet and government affairs Ian Hampton, these three simple words are as powerful in 2023 as ever. “They define everything we do and are instilled in all new employees,” he says. As maritime transport comes under increasing pressure to lower emissions and work towards net-zero status, Stena Line is adopting a two-pronged approach to sustainability, says Hampton. “This combines building new vessels, while also, where possible, converting existing vessels to run on greener technology and adopting technology that increases efficiency.” In 2015 Stena Line achieved a world first by converting its ferry Stena Germanica to run on both diesel and methanol and the company is keen to extend the success of that achievement. The company’s newest ships, Stena Estelle and Stena Ebba, which entered service in 2022, are set up for flexible fuel use. “We are building on our experience with our existing methanol ferry by working with the engine manufacturers of some of our current vessels to explore the feasibility of converting existing engines to run on methanol fuel,” explains Hampton. “Our aim for our next newbuild vessels is for them to be methanol and battery hybrids, which we hope to have in operation by the end of the decade.” The longer-term plan remains full electrification once the supporting Refuelling Stena Germanica with methanol 100