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Ferry company Stena Line has announced that Stena Embla, the last of its three new ferries destined for the Irish Sea, has successfully completed its sea trials in China’s Yellow Sea.

Stena Embla is the latest new Stena Line next generation RoPax vessel that is being constructed at the CMI Jingling Weihai Shipyard in China, marking the end of significant recent investment on the Irish Sea by the Swedish owned ferry company. The global pandemic did not delay the build of the vessel, which is being delivered to the agreed schedule.

The sea trials are designed to test the vessel at sea in order to ensure that all systems are fully operational and in line with strict specifications outlined by Stena Line. The tests include areas as engine performance and fuel consumption, navigation and radio equipment, emergency systems, speed tests, manoeuvrability, engine and thruster tests as well as safety tests.

Stena Embla - destined for Belfast Lough but on sea trials this week in China's Yellow SeaStena Embla - destined for Belfast Lough after successfully completing sea trials this week on China's Yellow Sea

“It is great to see that the shipyard has not missed a beat during this year’s final stages of the build. Today the last of our three next generation ferries achieved a very important milestone bang on time” said Stena Line’s Paul Grant, Trade Director, Irish Sea.

“Sea trials are a critical phase in a new ship’s development; it is our first opportunity to test a new vessel out at sea and put her through her paces to ensure that she is up to our high standards.

“We systematically go through all aspects of the new ship and I am pleased to say that Stena Embla has successfully completed every trial. We now look forward to the full handover of the vessel by the shipyard and starting her journey to the Irish Sea” he added.

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said that the introduction of Stena Embla and her sister ships, Stena Estrid and Stena Edda, reflected the company’s commitment to the Irish Sea, as Afloat previously reported here.

“The Irish Sea is very important to Stena Line’s global business and represents a significant part of our overall revenue,” said Mr Mårtensson.

“We strongly believe that our ferry business on the Irish Sea will continue to grow. It remains a key region for the company, as evidenced by our continued investment and the addition of three new vessels. This is underscoring Stena Line’s commitment to our Irish Sea operations and our determination to deliver the best possible freight and travel experience to our customers. 

“It has been a very challenging year for our business. But I am proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues to shape the industry for life after the global pandemic and to put us into a position to support our customers after Brexit” he concluded.

Part of a multi-million-pound investment in the region, the new Stena Line ferries are amongst the most advanced vessels in operation. They are 25% more fuel-efficient than existing vessels and with 215 metres in length they are much larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, providing 30% more freight capacity with 3,100 lane meters. They also have the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.  The roll-on roll-off design and the ability to load two vehicle decks simultaneously has reduced loading and unloading times, resulting in quicker turnaround times in ports.

The big, bright and airy design of the E-Flexer vessels has provided a safe travel environment during the COVID-19 crisis. With ample space to social distance, access to fresh air and the open plan design has meant large areas of the vessel can be sanitised easily. Giving customers the reassurance that travelling by ferry is the safest form of public travel during the pandemic.

Next up for Stena Embla is an official handover ceremony at the shipyard before she sets sail on the long journey from China to Belfast. Arriving home around Christmas in time start operating on the Belfast to Birkenhead route in early 2021 alongside sister ship Stena Edda, launched in March.

The new vessel replaces the Stena Mersey, which has successfully operated on the Belfast to Birkenhead route for 10 years. The Mersey will then head off to join sister ship the Stena Lagan in Turkey where both ships are being extended, before re-deployment on the Baltic Sea.

During the summer Stena Line also confirmed that the construction of two new larger E-Flexer ferries has begun in Weihai, China. Their keels were recently laid in the same shipyard in Weihai and the delivery is expected in 2022.

Published in Belfast Lough
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Ferry shipping company Stena Line continues to reduce CO2 emissions and is now ten years ahead of the international shipping targets for reducing emissions. In the newly published sustainability overview “A Sustainable Journey” Stena Line reports a reduction of both total CO2 emissions and per transported ton onboard the ferries. New, larger and more energy efficient vessels, AI assisted captains and an increased punctuality are some important measures.

Despite a tough situation for the ferry industry due to COVID-19 ferry shipping company Stena Line continues its sustainable journey. In the newly published sustainability overview Stena Line presents initiatives, improvements and challenges within the sustainability area as well as give account on the companies ambitious sustainability targets.

Stena Elektra – the aim is to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030Stena Elektra – the aim is to launch a fully battery powered vessel before 2030

During 2019 Stena Line to reduce CO2 emissions and is now ten years ahead of the international shipping targets for reducing emissions. The company reduced the total CO2 emissions with 1,7 %, corresponding to 24 000 tonnes of CO2 in total.

Even more important is that Stena Line continued to improve the efficiency and reduced the emissions per transported ton freight and passenger vehicles onboard the vessels with 3,6% CO2. This means that Stena Line, ten years ahead, already meets the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) targets for 2030 of a 40 % reductions in CO2 emissions efficiency from 2008-2030.

“We aim to be the leader in sustainable shipping and we have high ambitions. During the last ten years we have improved the efficiency with more than 320 energy efficiency actions onboard and onshore, both technical and operational improvements and investments. The introduction of AI assisted vessels and the delivery of our first new larger and energy efficient vessels that went into operations on the Irish Sea during the spring, are some highlights from last year”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.

Ambition is zero emissions by 2050

The largest challenge for the shipping industry as a whole and for Stena Line is to reach zero emissions by 2050, in line with international targets.

“We are currently working in parallel with reducing fuel consumption, and emissions to sea and air and at the same time exploring and evaluating the fuels for the future. We are currently involved in several projects with alternative fuels and propulsion, including the world’s first methanol powered vessel and a battery project with the aim of launching a fully battery powered vessel before 2030”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.

Highlights in “A Sustainable Journey 2019/2020”:

  • Reduced our total CO2 emissions with -1.7% as well as -3.6% ton/km, measured by unit transported on our vessels.
  • Reduced almost all single use plastic onboard and substantially improved share of recycled material in our offices, ports and terminals.
  • Reduced the use of harmful chemicals and detergents. The newly introduced Stena Estrid and Stena Edda are best in class with 80 % Eco-label chemicals.
  • Increased the number of female leaders in the company. In total 20 % of managers are females.
Published in Ferry
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The next generation of ferry travel proudly sailed into Belfast Harbour on Wednesday, with Stena Edda undertaking important final trials before it welcomes passengers on the Belfast Lough to Liverpool route in the coming weeks.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Stena Edda arrived at dawn after an epic four-week voyage and over six years’ in planning and construction, including design development in Sweden.

As part of this momentous occasion on its journey, the new advanced vessel took part in successful berthing trials at Belfast Harbour’s VT2 Terminal. A new access ramp has been specially built to accommodate the multi-million-pound ferry in Belfast.

With 40% more deck capacity, 40% more cabins and 30% more fuel-efficient than current vessels on the route, it will accommodate up to 1,000 passengers, 120 cars in its dedicated garage deck and 3,100 lane metres of freight.

It is more spacious inside with a Sky Bar and Scandinavian design providing new levels of comfort for both freight and travel guests. Despite the 215 metres length of the ferry, the new port infrastructure will deliver easier and faster loading and unloading for all passengers.

Stena Edda is part of a nine-figure investment by Stena Line in three new vessels and port upgrades, redefining ferry travel in the Irish Sea. Stena Edda is the first of two new ferries that will run on the popular Belfast to Liverpool route.

Published in Ferry
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#ferries - On International Women’s Day yesterday, Stena Line launched a new sustainability focus area – Equality and Inclusion. This is part of the company’s increased commitment to creating a sustainable working environment and an important step on the journey towards becoming a leader in sustainable shipping.

The ferry operator is committed to maintaining and developing a sustainable working environment, free from harassment, where everyone is given equal opportunities regardless of age, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability.

“At Stena Line we welcome everyone, whether you want to work here, travel with us or be one of our business partners. I am proud to announce that we are now increasing our focus on this important matter by adding another focus area to our sustainability strategy, says Ian Hampton, Chief People & Communications Officer at Stena Line.

A sustainability strategy is based on focus areas which are linked to the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and directly related to the company’s business. Equality and inclusion will be the fifth focus area, complementing the existing four areas - Clean energy, Good health and well-being, Life below water and Responsible consumption. For each area there are ambitious targets established and developments will be closely monitored, with the ambition of becoming a leader in Sustainable shipping.

“For equality and inclusion, the long-term goals are set to a minimum of 30% female leaders by 2022 and a zero-vision in terms of harassment. The work has already started with two new company policies for anti-harassment and equal opportunities launched last year”, said Margareta Jensen Dickson, Head of People at Stena Line.

In 2018 Stena Line also signed the Maritime UK’s “Women in Maritime Pledge” committing to “building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates gender diversity, at all levels, throughout our organisation, and our industry”.

Main initiatives 2019

During 2019 the company will be focusing on anti-harassment initiatives, improving recruitment systems and procedures, promoting maritime careers for both men and women - as well as engaging in the “Women in Maritime Charter”.

“We need to deliver on a number of ambitious but achievable goals. For example, identifying obstacles in relation to recruitment and progression for women, improving recruitment methods for “decoded” job applications as well as benchmarking and mapping policies supporting a family friendly workplace and work-life balance for all, said Margareta Jensen Dickson, Head of People at Stena Line.

Care for customers

Diversity in the workforce not only contributes to a better working environment, it also helps Stena Line to better understand and care for its customers.

“Like us, our customers are diverse and the more knowledgeable we get, the better we will become at fulfilling their needs and creating a great travel experience which shows that we care”, says Ian Hampton, Chief People & Communications Officer at Stena Line.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Ferry giant, Stena based in Sweden and tanker firm Stolt-Nielsen which is Bermuda registered, are reviewing their UK-registered ships ahead of Britain’s departure from the EU, the two leading transport companies told Reuters separately on Wednesday (yesterday).

Such commercial decisions could complicate any attempts by the British government to secure extra space on ships to help cope with potential disruption to trade if it fails to secure a negotiated departure from the EU.

And any possible loss of ships will also be a blow to the UK’s ship registry, which forms part of the country’s maritime services industry. Shipping companies in many flag states pay corporation tax based on vessel tonnage rather than profit.

“In the light of the Brexit process we are considering whether the UK flag can become a possible issue for us when it no longer will be an EU flag post the 29th March 2019, but we have taken no decisions and are reviewing different scenarios,” said Ian Hampton, chief people & communications officer with Stena Line.

“Our fleet needs to be as flexible as possible.”

All commercial ships have to be registered, or flagged with a country, partly to comply with safety and environmental laws.

Stena Line is one of Europe’s largest ferry operators with a large part of the business concentrated around the UK.

For further reading about Stolt-Nielsen click here in addition British based operator P&O Ferries which announced last month it would shift the registration of its UK vessels to Cyprus ahead of Brexit.

 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - A Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine has been involved in a near-miss with a ferry in the Irish Sea.

An investigation writes The Irish Times, has been launched into the previously unreported incident, which occurred on November 6th.

The ferry was Stena Superfast VII, which operates between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It has a capacity for 1,300 passengers and 660 cars.

The submarine was submerged at the depth needed to extend its periscope above the surface of the water.

The Royal Navy would not confirm which of its 10 submarines was involved.

They are all nuclear-powered but only four carry Trident nuclear missiles.

A spokesman for the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said: “In November, we were notified of a close-quarters incident between the ro-ro [roll-on/roll-off] ferry Stena Superfast VII and a submarine operating at periscope depth.

To read more on the incident involving the ferry that operates Belfast-Cairnryan (not Stranraer as published) in the newspaper click here.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Work has begun on ferries from Stena Line which involves a £5 million refit programme of its local fleet at Belfast's Harland & Wolff shipyard.

The 10-week upgrade schedule reports the Irish News, will see five Stena vessels dry docked consecutively to facilitate refurbishment and maintenance works.

The move continues the carrier's long-standing relationship with H&W, and will represent a considerable boost to the supply chain.

For comments made from the ferry operator and the shipyard, click here. 

Published in Ferry
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#ferry - During a month-long, fleet-wide donation campaign, Round Up for Charity, Stena Line and its customers raised an impressive €20,000 for the charity organisation Mercy Ships. The funds will enable Mercy Ship to help 133 people to get their sight back on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy.

The campaign which took place in November, involved customers across the Stena fleet of 38 vessels, who were encouraged to round up their onboard purchases and make a donation to Mercy Ships – a charity organisation sailing around the world bringing free, life-saving medical care to where it’s needed the most. There was also an impressive number of employee-initiatives to raise even more money for the charity. Some Stena Line employees rowed and cycling on board crossing the Irish Sea while others arranging quiz walks a shore and cake sales on board.

“An essential part of our partnership with Mercy Ships is to raise awareness about the organisation and this campaign has not only resulted in a generous monetary contribution from our customers, but also that more people are aware of Mercy Ships and their inspiring work. Many thanks to our employees for their engagement with the charity and their wonderful initiatives all across Europe”, says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.

Stena Line’s customers donated €17,532, beating the result from last year’s donation campaign which ran for twice as long. With the additional contribution from the ferry operator, rounding up as well, the total amount of €20,000 will enable Mercy Ships help 133 people to get their sight back on board the hospital ship Africa Mercy.

“Because everyone on board Africa Mercy is there on a volunteer basis, we have managed to reduce the cost of an eye surgery to approximately €150. We are grateful so many of Stena Line’s customers chose to support our work and by doing so this has helped to change many lives. It has also been great to see the enthusiasm and engagement among the employees at Stena Line during the campaign,” said Tomas Fransson, National Director for Mercy Ships, Sweden.

The Round Up for Charity campaign was launched on all the ferries from 1 November. It ran for almost four weeks ending on Tuesday 27 November, a date which marked this year’s #GivingTuesday – a charity equivalent to Black Friday and Cyber Monday where instead of shopping people were encouraged to make a charity donation.

The humanitarian non-governmental organisation and Stena Line became partners in February 2017. The aim of the partnership is to raise awareness of Mercy Ships, increase the interest for donations among ferry customers and partners, as well as promote volunteering with their employees to share their unique technical and naval competence.

“In Mercy Ships, we have found a partner that is committed to helping those who need it the most, and like us see the benefits and the flexibility of having the ocean and ships as your workplace. This partnership is the most important part of our social sustainability initiatives, as it gives us an exciting opportunity to involve our employees, customers and partners in helping to make a difference. It also embodies our core value – care”, says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - An option to build a seventh and eighth of the E-Flexer ro ro class has been decided by Stena.

The two vessels will be deployed within the ferry company's route network with a planned delivery in 2022. Additionally, Stena RoRo has taken an option on the construction of a further four E-Flexer vessels also to be built at Avic Weihai Shipyard, China.

“We are very pleased to have ordered two additional E-Flexer vessels from Stena RoRo. We foresee increasing demand for freight capacity in Northern Europe and our new vessels fit very well in matching anticipated market developments as we prepare ourselves for further expansion. At this stage we haven’t decided where within our route network these two vessels will be deployed and are currently evaluating several options,”says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.

The new order and the four further options are important milestones for Stena RoRo.

“These vessels are the result of good cooperation between Stena RoRo and the AVIC Weihai Shipyard. With their strong design capabilities, Stena Line will be able to optimise its capacity to accommodate the vessels within most parts of its route network,” says Per Westling, MD Stena RoRo.

As with the previous E-Flexer vessels ordered by Stena, energy efficiency and sustainability will be key design features.

“We want to lead the development of sustainable shipping and set new industry standards when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness,” says Niclas Mårtensson.

The two new ships on order will be larger than the three E-Flexer designs currently being built for Stena Line. The first three E-Flexer ships will be 215 meters long with 3 100 (lm) lane meters whilst the next two ships will measure 240 meters with a freight capacity of 3 600 lane meters.

“We are building on our successful RoPax concept mixing freight and passenger traffic. Through standardisation we can secure a reliable operation and by investing in tonnage that is flexible we can provide an even better product that will ultimately support our customers and help them to grow,” said Niclas Mårtensson.

A total of eight E-Flexers have now been ordered by Stena from Avic Weihai Shipyard in China. The first one is planned to operate on Holyhead-Dublin (in early 2020) and the next two delivered are planned to operate on the Liverpool-Belfast service. Three other vessels will be chartered out to external ferry operators by Stena RoRo.

Facts about E-Flexer 7 and 8

Length over all (LOA): 239,7 m

Width: 27,8 m

Draught, max: 6,4 m

Pax capacity: 1200

No of cabins: 263

Capacity: 3 600 lm

 

Published in Ferry
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#ferry - A ferry operator from Estonia says sale boosts group's financial position, but not material to results.

Tallink Grupp said it concluded sales agreements with Sweden's Stena Line for the sale of two passenger-car ferries.

The group said the deals with Stena Ropax will cover the 32,728-gt Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII. (Afloat adds the pair operate the Belfast-Cairnryan route)

Tallink said the deal is valued at EUR 133.5m ($152m). The vessels will be delivered to the buyer in December 2017. Until then, the vessels continue operations in the UK waters.

For more Tradewinds has a report here.

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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