Swedish ferry company Stena Line revealed plans to locate the four new roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) ships being built by China’s AVIC shipyard on the Irish Sea routes to and from Belfast.
“The routes to and from Belfast are strategically very important to Stena Line and during the last number of years we have made significant investments in ports and vessels to improve and develop our capacity,” Niclas Mårtensson, Stena Line’s CEO, said.
“During the last few years we have seen a steady growth in freight and passenger volumes and we believe this will continue. Last year was a record year for us when we for the first time carried over 500,000 freight units through Belfast Port,” he added.
The new ships will be the largest ferries ever to operate between Belfast and Great Britain, according to Mårtensson.
Ordered in April 2016, the RoPax ferries are scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2020. Under the contract signed between Stena Line and the shipbuilder, there is an option for another four vessels.
To be classed by classification society DNV GL, the ships will run on traditional fuel but are designed to the class notation “gas ready” – prepared to be fueled by either methanol or liquefied natural gas (LNG).