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World’s Largest Ice-Class Breaking Tanker Docks in Belfast

12th November 2015

#ArcticBelfast - As previously reported on Afloat’s Ferry News, this week Belfast Port had an eighth Stena vessel docked in the harbour which today marks 20 years of ferry operations, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Easily the largest ship is Stena Arctica (belonging to the Stena Group), which is a 117,000 dwt crude oil tanker from an ice-breaker series. The large oil products tanker fitted with an ice-breaking bow is undergoing a major refit for Stena Bulk at Harland & Wolff.

The UK flagged vessel of 249.79m in length on a beam of 44.07m and a draft of 6m is occupying H&W's Belfast Dry-Dock. Stena Arctica is the world’s largest oil tanker that is with an ice class 1A super certification. The design of the vessel allows the tanker to cope in navigating extreme ice conditions with up to 1 metre thick ice.

She is longer and wider than a conventional ice-tanker. Also, the ‘Arctica’ has more built-in steel in her sturdy ice belt, extra-strengthened frames, and an ice-propeller that is more robust than normal.

In a harsh and frozen environment, the ‘Arctica’s’ main engine provides more than 50% of her power. The bridge has a 360-degree view for greater safety in narrow waters. She is optimally designed for safe carriage of oil in the Baltic Sea all year round.

As for the other seven Stena ships in Belfast Port referred above, they are from their Irish Sea North ferry fleet serving out of the harbour. All of the fleet underwent a £6m refit investment programme also at H&W that was completed in Easter. The bulk of the upgrade on these ferries including freight vessels was carried out at the yard over a five month timeframe.

Among those upgraded in the refit programme was the ‘Heysham-max’ class freight-ferry Stena Precision. She belongs to a quartet as route-mate Stena Performance also sails on the Belfast-Heysham service which carries mostly freight and leisure traffic.

The other pair that makeup the ro-ro class quartet remain running for Seatruck Ferries on their Dublin-Liverpool service which is to expand with a third ship next week.

Published in Belfast Lough
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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