UPDATE 07.12.18: E-Flexer #1, hull W0263, is expected to be floated out of dock number 1 on the 16th January 2019. On the same day the yard expect to lay the first keel block of W0267 in the space vacated by W0263. This will be the first vessel for Brittany Ferries, GALICIA.
With the announcement yesterday that all three of Stena Line’s new E-Flexer ferries for Irish Sea services are now under construction, NI Ferry Site takes a pictorial look at the build of the first vessel (W0263) so-far. All images are Copyright of AVIC or Stena unless otherwise stated.
The signing ceremony for the contract between Stena and AVIC Weihai for the construction of 4 (plus 4 options) RoPax ferries. These became know as the Stena E-Flexer class. AVIC
On Friday 25th August 2017, a ‘steel cutting ceremony’ was held at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China to mark the start of the construction of what was then the first of four RoPax vessels ordered by Stena. AVIC
Steel cutting gets underway for the first of Stena’s E-Flexer class at AVIC Weihai. AVIC
On the 2nd of February 2018, the first keel block was laid. This was marked with a traditional keel laying ceremony, complete with Chinese “dragons”.
What the finished Vessel will look Like
Time-lapse of the process so-far
What happens next?
Now that the first vessel is at the “steel ready” stage, she will next be fitted out with her propellers and rudders, vehicle ramps, windows, and any remaining cabling, pipework, or machinery. She is expected to be floated out in January after which she will be fitted out. The as-yet unnamed vessel is expected to enter service between Dublin and Holyhead in the first half of 2020, replacing STENA SUPERFAST X. Later that year a second example, which is also currently under construction, will enter service on the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route. She will displace one of the current passenger vessels. A second vessel for the Belfast – Liverpool route is expected to follow in 2021, replacing the remaining current passenger vessel.