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 8 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.
To date a total of 6 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, 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. Two options from the original contract signed between Stena and AVIC in 2016 remain to be exercised.
|Vessel||Yard Number||Operator||Estimated delivery||Planned Route||Name|
|1||WO263||Stena Line||Late 2019||Holyhead - Dublin *|
|2||WO264||Stena Line||Late 2019 / early2020||Belfast - Birkenhead *|
|3||WO265||Brittany Ferries||Autumn 2020||Portsmouth - Le Havre/Bilbao/Santander||GALACIA|
|4||WO266||Stena Line||2020||Belfast - Birkenhead *|
|5||WO267||DFDS||2021||Dover - Calais|
(Replacing CALAIS SEAWAYS (external link)))
|6||WO268||Brittany Ferries||2021||(Replacing CAP FINISTERE (external link))||SALAMANCA|
|7||Option - not yet exercised||-||-||-|
|8||Option - not yet exercised||-||-||-|
|* 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 STENA PRECISION).|
All of the vessels ordered to date will be 214.5m long and have capacity for up to 1000 people and 3100 lane metres 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 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.
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 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.
Key technical information
A more detailed technical specification of the individual vessels is available on the main Stena E-Flexer page here.
|Class name||Stena E-Flexer|
|Design||Stena AB / Deltamarin|
|Construction Yard||AVIC Weihai, Shandong Province, China|
|Vessel Owner||Stena RoRo|
|Vessel Operators||Stena Line (3), Brittany Ferries (2), DFDS (1)|
|Delivery||Late 2019 - 2021|
|Gross Tonnage||Approx 40.000|
|Total number of decks||10|
|Number of passenger decks||3|
|Design Speed||22 knots|
|Passenger Capacity (including crew)||1000|
|Freight Capacity||3100 lane metres|
|Capacity of dedicated passenger vehicle and small van deck|
(not included on the Brittany Ferries examples)
The above article is Copyright © Steven Tarbox, all rights reserved. Unauthorised reproduction or distribution is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 30/05/18