As previously reported, the former Belfast – Liverpool ferry STENA LAGAN is undergoing a rebuild in Turkey. The work will extend the ship from 186.5m long to around 222m, increasing her freight intake to 2,875 lane metres. The rebuild will also expand her passenger accommodation, with 74 additional cabins taking her complement to 194.
With STENA LAGAN split in two, the first part of the new 36m section was lifted into place on September 2. This first block weighed 960 tons, making it the biggest such lift ever undertaken in Turkey. The new bow, which will allow the ship to be loaded on two levels through bow as well as the stern, is also taking shape. Before rebuilding, STENA LAGAN could only load on one level and through the stern only.
The project is being supervised by Stena Line sister-company Stena RoRo. They also oversaw the conversion of STENA HOLLANDICA (the present STENA GERMANICA) back in 2007. This was the largest such project ever undertaken worldwide with the ship extended from 188.3m to 240.1m. As part of the rebuild work on STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY, the ships will have also exhaust gas scrubbers fitted on their MAN main engines.
From photographs taken at the yard, it is clearly apparent that much of STENA LAGAN‘s outside deck space on the main public deck has now been enclosed. This suggests there will be a rebuild of the existing public accommodation. It also appears that an area around the funnel may be made accessible to the public, similar to that on STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA. Modifications towards the stern include the removal of the large fixed ramp to the upper vehicle decks, and what appears to be an outside deck area.
Turkish firms Cita Marine Furniture & Architecture and ACCOMAR Marine Interior are understood to be in charge of the interior outfitting for the rebuilt STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY. Cita Marine also completed the outfitting onboard STENA EUROPE during her rebuild in Turkey last year. The company was also responsible for outfitting Wightlink’s VICTORIA OF WIGHT.
Cita Marine has also been working on the interior design of the rebuilt STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY, with renders of the new cabins already published. Although Stena Line has not yet announced which of its routes the rebuilt ships will be allocated to, the company has confirmed that they will not be returning to Irish Sea service.
STENA LAGAN was replaced on the Belfast – Liverpool service by STENA EDDA at the start of this year. A slightly modified sister-ship, STENA EMBLA, is still under construction and will replace STENA MERSEY early next year.