Meanwhile Stena Performer and Stena Precision are in Birkenhead awaiting their transformation back to Seatruck Performance and Seatruck Precision
Stena Line’s 195m long freighter STENA FORERUNNER arrived in Belfast for the first time earlier today, ahead of joining the Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) route tomorrow as the dedicated freight vessel. She replaces STENA PRECISION which is currently in the wet basin at Cammell-Laird awaiting dry-docking. Sister vessel STENA PERFORMER is already in Number 5 dry-dock at the same yard starting the process to re-become SEATRUCK PERFORMANCE. The two Seatruck vessels are expected to enter service on the Warrenpoint to Heysham service at the start of September.
STENA FORERUNNER arrives as the largest freight vessel to ever operate for Stena Line out of Belfast. At 195.3m long she is only around 8m shorter than STENA SUPERFAST VII and VIII, and almost 10m longer than her operating partners on the Liverpool service STENA MERSEY and STENA LAGAN. Her arrival means total freight capacity on the Belfast to Liverpool service has increased by around 10%. Weighing in with a gross tonnage of 24,688, she has capacity for some 3km of freight over her three vehicle decks. STENA FORERUNNER is capable of accommodating loads of up to 8.1m in height in the after-part of her main deck, and 6.8m throughout the rest of the main deck. Like other recent arrival in Belfast STENA SCOTIA, she is equipped with an exhaust scrubber system, though this only operates on two of her four Wärtsilä main-engines as she is capable of attaining 18 knots using just half of her main engine power.
STENA FORERUNNER is the third of three Stena 4-Runner Mk II class freighters built in China for Stena RoRo in the early 2000’s. The other two vessels in the class, STENA FORECASTER and STENA FORETELLER, are currently chartered out to other operators. STENA FORERUNNER will remain on the Belfast to Liverpool route until early 2019 when she will be replaced with a vessel of similar capacity.