The last two vessels of the E-Flexer series are being built at the CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard in China. (Image: Stena Line)The last two vessels of the E-Flexer series are being built at the CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard in China. (Image: Stena Line)

Stena Line has confirmed that construction of the larger two vessels in its new generation E-Flexer series is underway in Weihai, China.

The ship operator also confirmed that the Stena Embla, the third E-Flexer vessel, is expected to be delivered on schedule to begin operating on the Belfast-Liverpool route in January 2021.

Larger E-Flexer vessels

At 240 metres long, the last two vessels in the E-Flexer series will provide freight capacity of 3,600 lane metres and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,200 passengers. The vessel’s cargo capacity will increase by almost 15% compared with the first three vessels in the series. The two vessels will be around 30% more fuel efficient than existing vessels in the fleet, thanks to optimum design of the hulls, propellers, bulbs and rudders.

The two vessels will also be fitted with shore power connections to reduce emissions, while the electricity connection will also enable a conversion to electric hybrid operation in the future.

The vessels are designed for efficient loading and unloading, with drive-through lanes in the two levels. Stena also confirmed that two existing vessels in the fleet, Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey, will be extended by 36 metres and modified with efficient drive-through capabilities for loading and unloading in two levels.

In total the modifications will increase the cargo capacity by 30% and add on a total of 75 cabins. The two vessels are expected to be back in traffic in Stena Line’s network in 2021.

Stena Line noted that it had not publicised which routes the two new larger vessels of the E-Flexer model, or the extended Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey, will operate.

“Despite a tough time during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have shown how important Stena Line is to linking Europe’s freight and passenger transport and vital supply lines. We believe in continued growth and demand in all our markets and with the new ferries in place we will be well equipped for the future” says Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson.

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