Former Belfast ferry back at shipyard after layup in Cyprus
STENA LAGAN returned to Turkey earlier today having left Limassol on Wednesday. The former Belfast – Birkenhead ferry currently appears to be back at the SEDEF Shipyard where she was previously to undergo lengthening. Last month the lengthening project was postponed due to COVID-19, with the ship sailing to Limassol via Piraeus for layup. It is not yet clear whether the project will recommence immediately. Previously it had been reported by Shippax that the lengthening project had been postponed by up to six months.
The ambitious rebuild project will see both STENA LAGAN and STENA MERSEY extended by about 36m to 222.6m in length. According to the shipyard, this will be the largest lengthening ever to be undertaken in Turkey. The project also involves converting the stern-only loading vessels to twin-level-drive-through loading and extending the accommodation. STENA MERSEY will follow STENA LAGAN to the same yard once she has been released from the Belfast – Liverpool route. Her ultimate replacement, the brand-new STENA EMBLA, is currently being fitted out in China.
The end result will be ships with a similar passenger and freight capacity to the new E-Flexer ferries such as STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA. Stena Line has not yet disclosed which route the ships will be allocated to, but has ruled out a return to Belfast. Stena Line’s sister company Stena Roro is overseeing the project with the ships original designer also heavily involved. The new section for STENA LAGAN has been allocated the yard number NB 207, while the new section for STENA MERSEY is NB 209.