Stena RoRo has confirmed that it has ordered a thirteenth E-Flexer ferry from the China Merchants Jinling (Weihai) shipyard. The new unit is to be delivered to Corsica Linea during the first quarter of 2026.
As with other E-Flexer ferries delivered to operators external to the Stena group, Corsica Linea will initially charter the unnamed vessel but will have an option to purchase it outright. The new Corsica Linea ferry will be the first Stena E-Flexer to be delivered to the Mediterranean region. One of Corsica Linea’s competitors La Méridionale has two ferries built to a totally different design on order from the same shipyard, but these will not be delivered until 2027.
Like Brittany Ferries’ SALAMANCA and SANTOÑA, Corsica Linea’s E-Flexer will be equipped with two Wärtsilä 12 V DF multi fuel engines capable of running on LNG, conventional marine gas oil, or biodiesel. These will propel the vessel to a service speed of 23 knots. Additionally the new ship will be designed as a hybrid and be able to utilise batteries as a means of propulsion.
According to Corsica Linea, the new ship will initially be fuelled by LNG before a switch to Bio-LNG or e-LNG, both of which the company claims are carbon free. The new order is part of the company’s commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% before 2030 and follows the arrival of A GALEOTTA in early 2023.
Commenting on the eco-credentials of the new E-Flexer, Pierre-Antoine Villanova, CEO of Corsica Linea said:
“The arrival of this new LNG vessel in the fleet is a strong signal that is in line with the ambitious course set for Corsica Linea in the coming years: to become the most modern shipping company in the Mediterranean by 2030. This new and highly efficient ship will be an important factor in our green transition and a part of our objective to reduce our CO2 emissions with 40 % by 2030”.
A GALEOTTA was Corsica Linea’s first LNG fuelled ship and had been built specifically for the company by the Italian Visentini shipyard The new E-Flexer vessel will have a similar capacity to A GALEOTTA, and both vessels will be powered by engines from the same series. The two new La Méridionale vessels will also have a similar capacity.
As with the standard E-Flexer design first seen on STENA ESTRID, the new Corsica Linea E-Flexer will be able to accommodate around 1,000 persons.
However, vehicle capacity will be similar to Brittany Ferries’ GALICIA, SALAMANCA, and SANTOÑA at 2,500 lane metres of freight due to an increased cabin complement of 235 compared to the 175 fitted to a standard Stena Line E-Flexer. The dimensions remain the same as STENA ESTRID with a length of around 203m and a beam of 27.8m.
More E-Flexer’s to come?
According to the managing director of Stena RoRo, Per Westling, the new Corsica Linea vessel is a further development of Stena RoRo’s previous RoPax concepts. He said:
“This ship is a further development of our previous RoPax concepts, where the focus on sustainability and future-proofing has been a top priority,”
Per Westling also hinted that further orders could be in the pipeline, saying:
“Through the further development and optimization of the hull shape in combination with multi-fuel engines and battery hybrid technology, ordering new vessels will be the most important and powerful measure to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping in the future.”
This latest order means that Stena RoRo currently has six vessels on order at China Merchants Jinling (Weihai).
There are three E-Flexer ferries currently under construction at the shipyard which has become something of a ferry factory for Stena. Brittany Ferries’ SAINT-MALO and GUILLAUME DE NORMANDIE are expected to enter service in Spring 2025 while Marine Atlantic’s ALA’SUINU began sea trials earlier today. ALA’SUINU will replace ATLANTIC VISION before the 2024 season starts on the seasonal Argentia to North Sydney route.
Coincidentally, ATLANTIC VISION was an as-built sister-ship to Corsica Linea’s A NEPITA. The latter was converted specifically for the company by Stena RoRo. While originally built as the overnight ferry SUPERFAST X, A NEPITA had spent much of her career as a day ferry for SeaFrance, DFDS, and Stena Line before her conversion back to an overnight vessel for Corsica Linea.
In addition to four E-Flexer Ro-Pax ferries, Stena RoRo also has two methanol-fuelled NewMax class freight ferries on order for Stena Line’s Belfast to Heysham route. Construction of the two new freighters, which will be delivered in 2025, started on 5 January with the beginning of steel cutting for the first vessel, yard number W0320.
Stena RoRo has a number of different design concepts on the table including a 300-500 passenger version of the E-Flexer and a large RoRo freight vessel dubbed the C-Max. The wider Stena group has also been examining new concepts, with the all-electric Electra concept for the Frederikshavn to Gothenburg route now further developed into the hydrogen fuelled Stena H2YDRA in partnership with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and ScandiNAOS. A shelved E-Flexer concept for Interislander could also reappear in the future following the decision to wind down the iReX project last month.
Corsica Linea E-Flexer overview
|Restaurant (300 passengers)Café (250 passengers)Bar (350 passengers)
|Approx. 2,500 lane metres of freight
|2 x Wärtsilä 12V46DF engines producing 13,740 kW each