New Build: An overview of the Stena E-Flexer class

Overview of the Stena E-Flexer class of RoPax passenger and freight ferries under construction in China for Stena Line, Brittany Ferries, and DFDS.
Rendering of the new Stena E-Flexer class. All four vessels are now confirmed as earmarked for Stena's routes from Belfast. Stena Line.

An artists rendering of the new Stena E-Flexer class. Stena Line.

This article is a brief overview of the Stena E-Flexer class of RoPax vessels.  A more in-depth look at the class with archived updates is available here.

What is Stena E-Flexer?

Stena E-Flexer is a series of up to 12 new passenger and vehicle RoPax ferries ordered by Stena RoRo from the AVIC Weihai shipyard in China.  As the name suggests, they are designed to be flexible as well as efficient.  The series will feature a new unique hull shape developed by Stena and Deltamarin, with the bow shaped to reduce resistance including around the openings for the thrusters, and the stern shaped to reduce wave making.  As well as being efficient, E-Flexer is designed with a high capacity, and can carry up to 50% more vehicles than today’s standard RoPax vessels.  At speeds of 18 knots and below the vessels will be able to run on just one of its two propellers, with the other propeller feathered in order to minimise resistance through the water.

An artists rendering of the new Stena E-Flexer class. All four vessels are now confirmed as earmarked for Stena's routes from Belfast. Stena Line.
An artists rendering of the new Stena E-Flexer class. Stena Line.

To date a total of 8 vessels have been confirmed as ordered for 3 different operators.  Stena RoRo’s sister company Stena Line is expected to take delivery of three examples for Irish Sea routes and an additional two lengthened examples for an as yet unconfirmed market, while Brittany Ferries will receive two vessels for long-haul services between England and Spain.  These will be named GALACIA and SALAMANCA (external link). The remaining example has been ordered for DFDS and is expected to operate between Dover and Calais.  All options from the original contract signed between Stena and AVIC in 2016 have now been exercised, though Stena confirmed that they now have an additional four options to exercise when the order for the two lengthened examples for Stena Line was announced in July 2018.

 

VesselYard NumberOperatorEstimated deliveryPlanned RouteName
1WO263Stena Line logoStena LineLate 2019/Early 2020 Holyhead – Dublin *
2WO264Stena Line logoStena LineSpring 2020Belfast – Birkenhead *
3WO265New Build: An overview of the Stena E-Flexer classBrittany FerriesAutumn 2020Portsmouth – Le Havre/Bilbao/Santander

Portsmouth – Bilbao/Santander
(replacing BAIE DE SEINE (external link) and CAP FINISTERE (external link))

GALACIA
4WO266Stena Line logoStena LineEarly 2021Belfast – Birkenhead *
5WO267New Build: An overview of the Stena E-Flexer classDFDS2021Dover – Calais
(Replacing CALAIS SEAWAYS (external link))
6WO268New Build: An overview of the Stena E-Flexer classBrittany Ferries2021Portsmouth – Bilbao/Santander
(Replacing CAP FINISTERE (external link))
SALAMANCA
7WO269?^Stena Line logoStena Line2022TBC
8WO270?^Stena Line logoStena Line2022TBC
* On 8/06/18 Stena Line confirmed which routes their three E-Flexer class vessels will be deployed on.  E-Flexer #1 will go to the  Holyhead – Dublin route (in place of STENA SUPERFAST X) and #2 and #4 will go to the Belfast to Birkenhead route (it is assumed by NIFS they will replace all 3 current vessels STENA LAGAN, STENA MERSEY, and the additional RoRo vessel (currently STENA PRECISION)).

^ #7 & #8 announced on 18.07.18.  These are a 239.7m long extended version with 3600lm and 263 cabins.

 

Rendering of Brittany Ferries' Stena E-Flexer class vessels. Brittany Ferries.
Rendering of Brittany Ferries’ Stena E-Flexer class vessels. Brittany Ferries.

The first six vessels ordered will be 214.5m long and have capacity for up to 1000 people and 3100 lane metres of freight.  The following two examples will be 239.7m long with capacity for 1200 people and 3600lm of freight.  Although constructed in China, suppliers from Europe are heavily involved in the E-Flexer project.  Germany’s Reinhold & Mahla are responsible for the interior outfitting, with Sweden’s Figura Arkitekter responsible for the interior design on behalf of Stena RoRo and AVIC Weihai.   Caterpillar Marine are supplying the propulsion package via their Scandinavian dealer Pon Power.

The entire project is supervised by Stena RoRo themselves and Finland’s Deltamarin, who are also the consulting naval architect on the project.  The original E-Flexer design has 175 cabins, however this has been increased to around 300 (plus 36 freight driver cabins) on the two Brittany Ferries examples by replacing the dedicated car deck with passenger spaces.  The lengthened Stena Line examples are to have 263 cabins.  The DFDS example is expected to not have any passenger cabins due to the short nature of the 90 minute Dover – Calais crossing she is being built for.

Updated DFDS Stena E-Flexer render provided by Stena RoRo. Stena RoRo.
Updated DFDS Stena E-Flexer render provided by Stena RoRo. Stena RoRo.

 On 8/06/18 Stena Line confirmed which routes their first three E-Flexer class vessels will be deployed on.  E-Flexer #1 will go to the  Holyhead – Dublin route (in place of STENA SUPERFAST X) and #2 and #4 will go to the Belfast to Birkenhead route (it is assumed by NIFS they will replace all 3 of the vessels currently on the route – STENA LAGAN, STENA MERSEY, and STENA PRECISION). Brittany Ferries have confirmed that the examples they are chartering will be deployed on the Portsmouth – Le Havre and Portsmouth – Bilbao/Santander routes, and DFDS have stated they intend to deploy their example on the Dover – Calais route.  However, DFDS has also stated that they will finalise deployment in 2020 according to market conditions.  The keel for the second vessel was laid on 15.06.2018.  No route or market has yet been announced for the two lengthened Stena Line examples of the class.

Key technical information

A more detailed technical specification of the individual vessels is available on the main Stena E-Flexer page here.

Side profile drawing of the newly ordered Stena Ro-pax ferries to be built by AVIC Weihai in China. Image: Stena Line
Original side profile drawing released by Stena of the Stena E-Flexer RoPax ferries being built by AVIC Weihai in China. Image: Stena Line

 

Class nameStena E-Flexer
(standard – 215m)
Stena E-Flexer
(lengthened – 240m)
DesignStena AB / Deltamarin
Construction YardAVIC Weihai, Shandong Province, China
Vessel OwnerStena RoRo
Vessel OperatorsStena Line (3), Brittany Ferries (2), DFDS (1)Stena Line (2)
DeliveryLate 2019 – 20212022
Length214.5m239.7m
Breadth27.8m
Draught6.4m
Gross TonnageApprox 40.000TBC
Total number of decks10
Number of passenger decks3
Design Speed22 knots22 knots (?)
Passenger Capacity (including crew)10001200
Freight Capacity3100 lane metres3600 lane metres
Capacity of dedicated passenger vehicle and small van deck
(not included on the  Brittany Ferries examples)
120TBA

 

The signing ceremony for the contract between Stena and AVIC Weihai for the construction of 4 RoPax ferries. AVIC
The signing ceremony for the original contract between Stena and AVIC Weihai for the construction of 4 (with options for a further 4) RoPax ferries. AVIC

The above article is Copyright © Steven Tarbox, all rights reserved.  Unauthorised reproduction or distribution is strictly prohibited.

Original Article: 31.05.18 @ 08:15
Last Updated: 18.07.18

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