Galicia Touches Water for the First Time as Steel Cutting Starts for Salamanca
The third Stena E-Flexer, GALICIA, was floated at AVIC Weihai on Tuesday (10.09.19). The ship is the first of three being built for Brittany Ferries based on the Stena E-Flexer design. Although identical in length and breadth to STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA, GALICIA has increased cabin capacity. This is due to the addition of an additional cabin deck in place of the car deck on the Stena Line vessels. Unlike the Stena ships, GALICIA is fitted with exhaust gas scrubbers. The other two Brittany Ferries E-Flexer ships will forego the scrubbers as they will be powered by LNG instead.
As a result of high winds in Weihai yesterday, GALICIA did not leave the building dock until earlier today. Like STENA ESTRID and STENA EDDA before her, she was then moved to a quay at the yard for fitting out. Shippax report that GALICIA was floated without the Brittany Ferries logo which will be applied using UV resistant “stickers” in dry dock at a later date. Unusually for a Brittany Ferries ship, GALICIA was “launched” with a UK port of registry (Portsmouth). However, it is understood this will be changed to a French port (likely Morlaix as in renders of the vessel) when the vessel transfers from Stena RoRo to Brittany Ferries.
Steel cutting for the second of the Brittany Ferries E-Flexer’s, SALAMANCA, also started yesterday. This marks the start of the construction of the vessel and has its own ceremony. SALAMANCA is expected to be delivered after STENA EMBLA and DFDS’ CÔTE D’OPALE in 2021. The third Brittany Ferries E-Flexer, SANTOÑA, will be a direct sister to SALAMANCA and is expected to be delivered in 2023.
Although SALAMANCA will be the first LNG powered E-Flexer the whole series have been designed as “Gas Ready” for easy future conversion to LNG running if required. The keel of E-Flexer number 5, CÔTE D’OPALE for DFDS, is expected to replace GALICIA in the building dock. The other building dock at the yard is currently occupied by the Belfast to Liverpool vessel STENA EMBLA which will be the next E-Flexer to be floated out.
A unique Vessel
As the only Brittany Ferries E-Flexer ferry not built to run on LNG, GALICIA, will be a unique vessel. As mentioned above, Brittany Ferries examples of the E-Flexer design forego the dedicated car deck in lieu of additional cabins. They will also have a different interior to the Stena Line and DFDS ships with Brittany Ferries commissioning their own interior designers to work alongside Stena RoRo and AVIC’s chosen interior architect Figura. CÔTE D’OPALE will also be a totally unique vessel, having been customised for DFDS’s intensive Dover to Calais crossing.
With thanks to Stena RoRo and Brittany Ferries
Updated 12.09.19 (added video from Shippax)