Construction of Stena Line’s methanol-ready NewMax hybrid duo about to begin

European ferry operator Stena Line is building two all-new hybrid propulsion vessels designed to run on methanol.

Archive; Courtesy of Stena Line

The company said that the construction of the NewMax vessels will begin shortly with the launch of operations on the Irish Sea expected in 2025. China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Weihai, China has been entrusted with the construction process through Stena RoRo and both ships.

The ships are intended for the Belfast-Heysham route and add 80% capacity as the company responds to increasing customer demand for capacity and sustainability performance. The ships will be operating from Stena Line’s port in Belfast.

Each of the two new 147-meter vessels has been designed to maximise freight volumes and will provide 2,800 lane meters of capacity which is an 80% increase on current ship capacities. The new vessels will be equipped to carry 12 passengers and 26 crew.

Stena Line added it was currently working closely with the supply chain of methanol and has secured future volumes of e-methanol to fulfill its strategic ambition of shifting to renewable fuels and cutting 30% of its CO2 emissions by 2030. The company is already operating a ferry on methanol, the Stena Germanica, which was converted back in 2015.

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The unique tidal systems prevailing in Heysham can be challenging, so each vessel will be fitted with a bespoke marine technology configuration making it more resilient to the prevailing weather conditions. Three bow thrusters will provide optimum maneuverability and reliability and a specially designed engine/propeller configuration will further enhance berthing capability in extreme weather.

This investment shows our dedication to sustainability and our strategy of moving towards new sustainable fuels,” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.

“The NewMax vessels will also meet the growing demand from customers, adding significant capacity to allow logistics operators to grow their business in the region.”

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan and Liverpool, Dublin to Holyhead, and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, as well as a freight only route from Belfast to Heysham, a total of up to 238 weekly sailing options between Britain and Ireland.

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