Stena Line, one of Europe’s leading ferry operators, has announced that it is constructing two hybrid propulsion vessels designed to run on methanol for its Belfast-Heysham route.
The move is in response to increasing customer demand. Construction of the NewMax vessels will begin shortly with launch on the Irish Sea in 2025.
Between them, the two new bespoke freight vessels are expected to add 80% capacity to Stena’s freight service. Each of the two new 147m vessels has been designed to maximise freight volumes and will provide 2,800 lane-metres of capacity. The new vessels will be equipped to carry 12 passengers and 26 crew.
The vessels will operate on methanol fuel and the company has secured future volumes of e-methanol as part of its strategy of shifting to renewable fuels and cutting 30% of its CO2 emissions by 2030. Stena Line became the first ferry operator to run a ferry on methanol when the Stena Germanica was converted in 2015.
“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. The company also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg and will be introducing an upgraded ship, Stena Vision, to this route for summer 2023.