One of the two new E-Flexer RoPax ferries bound for the Belfast – Liverpool route in 2020 has recently marked an important production milestone by celebrating its official keel-laying at the AVIC shipyard in Weihai, China. The new vessels will have capacity for 1 000 passengers, 120 cars as well as 3 100 freight lane meters.
2017 marked another record trading year for leading ferry company Stena Line across its travel and freight services. Freight volumes on its Belfast to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham routes exceeded a record 514 000 units, which represents a 3% year on year increase. Car volumes topped 360 000, a 2.5% year on year increase with over 1.5m passengers accounting for a similar 2.5% annual increase.
Businesses across Northern Ireland continue to be disadvantaged by poor road access to their key GB markets. Leading ferry company Stena Line has raised concerns with local political and business stakeholders to increase the focus and necessity of addressing a critical infrastructure deficit which impacts a range of key NI business sectors including manufacturing, food production and tourism.
Less than 16 days after the last closure, the A77 has once more been closed to all traffic for up to 12 hours, resulting in a 75-minute detour for traffic using Stena Line’s Loch Ryan Port. The most recent closure overnight on 6th November comes on the back of the 24-hr closure of the A77 following severe flooding on 21st October when the port was in virtual lockdown mode for over 24 hrs.
Leading ferry company Stena Line has recorded strong volumes on its Belfast services for the first six months of 2017. To the end of June 2017, freight volumes increased +5%, passengers and cars grew +4% year on year. The fastest growing sector was coaches recording a record +19% increase. Stena Line operates three services from Belfast Harbour which provide up to 14 daily crossings options between its Cairnryan, Liverpool (Birkenhead) and Heysham services. Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North) commented: “Despite operating in a highly competitive environment, we have delivered a very strong set of volume increases across all of our three Belfast services. Despite intense competition, our freight volumes have increased with demand particularly high on our Belfast-Liverpool service. The rise in coach volumes has been assisted significantly by the increasing demand for day visits and from Chinese tour parties.” Paul Grant added: “Stena Line continues ... Read more
Last year Stena announced a newbuild contract of four RoPax ferry vessels with a planned delivery schedule during 2019 and 2020. The contract also contains an option for another four vessels to be ordered. The four vessels are being built at the AVIC Shipyard in China and the plan is to locate the vessels on the Irish Sea, specifically on Stena Line’s routes to and from its expanding Belfast hub.
IN THE DRIVING SEAT...Leading ferry company Stena Line has posted a record year for freight traffic volumes on its Belfast Harbour routes to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham in 2016. For the first time in its history, Stena Line has carried over 500, 000 freight units through Belfast Harbour. Pictured celebrating the success are (left to right): Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North), Joe O’Neill, Commercial Director, Belfast Harbour and Anna Breen, Stena Line’s Freight Commercial Manager (Irish Sea North).