Stena Line announces today that the first of its new RoPax ferries currently under construction in China is planned to enter service on its Holyhead – Dublin route in early 2020.
Stena has ordered the construction of six new generation RoPax vessels, Stena E-Flexer, from the AVIC Shipyard in China and the plan is to locate three of these ships on Stena Line´s Irish Sea routes. The other three will be chartered out to external parties by Stena Line’s sister company Stena RoRo (external link).
Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson said: “Our Irish Sea routes are strategically very important to Stena Line with the freight market in particular between Ireland and UK experiencing significant growth over the last five years. That’s why over the last five years we have invested almost £200m in our ports and vessels across the region to improve and upweight our capacity to offer a frequent, reliable and high-quality service for our freight and travel customers. The deployment of three new vessels is a tangible example of our strategic growth plan for the Irish Sea. I’m delighted to confirm that the first of our new vessels will be deployed on the Holyhead - Dublin service planned for early 2020. Furthermore, I can also confirm that two other vessels will be assigned to our Liverpool – Belfast service planned for spring of 2020 and early 2021."
Ian Davies, Stena Line Trade Director, Holyhead – Dublin commented: “Freight volumes have surpassed the Celtic Tiger peaks of 2007 and we are confident that this upward trend will continue. 2017 was a record year for Stena Line carrying over 800,000 freight units on our routes to and from the Island of Ireland. We welcome the addition of the first of our new generation RoPax vessels on Holyhead - Dublin. It will significantly increase freight capacity and raise the service standards for travel and freight guests”
Ken Skates AM, Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport said: “I am delighted Stena Line has chosen the Holyhead – Dublin service to introduce the first of their highly innovative E-Flexer series of RoPax ferries. This is a significant investment by the company which clearly demonstrates their confidence in the future of trade and tourism between Britain and Ireland, which is especially important in the current uncertain climate which surrounds Brexit. The investment underscores Holyhead’s strategic position as a key UK trade gateway. I am particularly pleased to hear that the new ferries will be amongst the most energy efficient in the world. Business on both sides of the Irish Sea will benefit from this exciting new addition to sea transport in the form of additional freight capacity on what is already a very busy route between Holyhead and Dublin. We are looking forward to welcome the new vessel to one of her new home port in Wales and on behalf of the Welsh Government I would like to wish Stena Line every success with this important investment and vote of confidence in the region.”
The new vessels under construction are being built in line with Stena Line’s strategic business focuses on sustainability and digitilisation with the aim of providing state-of-the-art efficiency, flexibility and customer service.