Stena Line has reached an important milestone in its major new fleet investment programme with the steel cutting of a third E-Flexer RoPax ship to be deployed on its Irish Sea routes. All three ships, planned to enter into service during 2020 and 2021, are now under construction at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China.
Construction is halfway through on the first E-Flexer vessel, which is planned to commence operation on the Dublin-Holyhead route in early 2020, with four daily sailings and an estimated crossing time of approximately 3.5 hours.
Ian Davies, Trade Director Irish Sea South, Stena Line, said: “We are pleased to report that construction is going to plan on our new generation E-Flexer vessel, which is set to increase our freight capacity significantly on the Dublin to Holyhead route and raise the service standards for our travel and freight customers.
“The introduction of this ship, along with two new E-Flexer vessels on the Belfast to Liverpool route, is a real vote of confidence in the development of our Irish Sea operations and lays the foundation for continued future growth following a record year last year, in which we carried over 800,000 freight units on our routes to and from the island of Ireland.”
The Belfast to Liverpool ships are due to enter service in 2020 and early 2021. All three Irish Sea E-Flexer vessels will be bigger than today’s standard RoPax vessels at 215 metres long, with a freight capacity of 3,100 lane metres and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers.
Peter Ardidsson, Chief Operating Officer, Stena Line, said: “We are delighted that the steel cutting ceremony for the third of our Irish Sea E-Flexer ships has now taken place and that construction is going to plan across all three of our new generation RoPax vessels. Having visited the site several times, we are very impressed with the work being carried out by Stena RoRo, the Avic shipyard and its subcontractors.
“With continued investment in our fleet, we want to lead the development of sustainable shipping and set new industry standards when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness.”
The following Dropbox link features a timelapse video that shows how the construction of the first E-Flexer is coming along: