New construction of the Stena E-Flexer continues in China with keel laying and launching

Between 2016 – 2018, Stena RoRo placed orders for eight Stena E-Flexer class vessels with the Chinese AVIC Weihai Shipyard. Construction is continuing according to plan and yesterday, 16 January, two ceremonies took place in the shipyard – the launching of the first E-Flexer and the keel laying of the third vessel in the series. Guests from near and far gathered in a chilly but sunny Weihai in order to witness these solemn ceremonies.

The first E-Flexer, named Stena Estrid, was launched yesterday.

L to R: Per Westling, CEO of Stena RoRo,
Niclas Mårtensson,CEO of Stena Line,
Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries

Stena RoRo, which is leading the new construction, was on-site in China to participate in the ceremonies and CEO Per Westling commented on the ongoing work: “We are very happy with the great collaboration with AVIC Shipyard, which includes both development and production of the E-Flexer series. From a customer standpoint we have exacting requirements on adaptation and flexibility, which the shipyard has successfully provided, and done so largely with good levels of quality.” 

L to R: Per Westling, CEO of Stena RoRoand 
Sun Yan, Chairman of Avicship.

Stena Line will operate a total of five E-Flexer vessels, two of which are an extended design. The first vessel – now launched - will serve the route between Holyhead and Dublin, while the other two will be running the line between Belfast and Liverpool. 
A 10 year charter contract has been signed with Brittany Ferries for two vessels, the first of which was keel laid yesterday.Both will complement the company's current fleet of freight and passenger vessels, travelling between Portsmouth in the UK and Bilbao and Santander in Spain. 
DFDS has also signed a 10 year charter contract for one E-Flexer, to be used to travel across the English Channel.

Four of the eight vessels now ordered are under construction together and the ceremonies, which took place yesterday, are both key milestones in the process. Keel laying is the starting point for the construction phase where the hull and exterior sections are put in place. Traditionally, keel laying involves placing a newly-minted coin under the keel to bring luck and success in all the ship's future sailings. 

Background facts
In 2016, Stena RoRo placed an order for four RoPax vessels with the option - now utilized - to increase by a further four vessels.The E-Flexer models, expanding on Stena Line’s successful business model of combining freight and passengers, will be 50% larger in the basic model than the current RoPax model standard ferries. These vessels will be at the forefront in terms of sustainability and will create a new standard for emissions, cost and energy efficiency, as well as performance.

Specifications of the E-Flexer order:

  1. Stena Line (running between Holyhead and Dublin at the start of 2020)
  2. Stena Line (running between Belfast and Liverpool during 2020)
  3. Brittany Ferries (10 year charter contract for traffic between Portsmouth in the UK and Bilbao and Santander in Spain)
  4. Stena Line (running between Belfast and Liverpool during 2021)
  5. DFDS (10 year charter contract for traffic across the English Channel)
  6. Brittany Ferries running on LNG (10 year charter contract for traffic between Portsmouth in the UK and Bilbao and Santander in Spain)
  7. Stena Line (larger design, delivery in 2022)
  8. Stena Line (larger design, delivery in 2022)

Stena E-Flexer facts
Length: 214.5 m

Depth: 6.4 m
Beam: 27.8 m
Capacity: 3,100 lane metres + 120 cars, 1,000 passengers (including crew), 175 cabins 

E-Flexer facts (larger design)
Length: 239.7 m

Depth: 6.4 m
Beam: 27.8 m
Capacity: 3,600 lane metres + 200 cars, 1,200 passengers (including crew), 263 cabins

For more information, please contact:
Per Westling, CEO of Stena RoRo AB 

Tel: +46 31 855154 

Since 1977 Stena RoRo has led the development of new marine RoRo, freight and passenger concepts. Our products consist of specially-constructed and standard RoRo and RoPax vessels. The company leases around twenty vessels to operators around the world, both other Stena companies and third parties. Stena RoRo primarily specializes in using its technical competence for the design and conversion of existing vessels in order to be able to provide tailor-made transport solutions for its customers. We call this ‘Stenability’.