Stena Line takes delivery of third Chinese-built vessel for Irish Sea operation

Senior master Neil Whittaker accepting delivery of Stena Embla in China.

STENA Line has taken ownership of its latest Chinese-built ferry for its Irish Sea operation.

The Swedish company has already introduced two of the Weihai-built E-Flexer vessels into its fleet in 2020.

'Stena Embla' will cover the Belfast to Liverpool (Birkenhead) crossing from January 2021.

The new boat was handed over to the Stena senior master Neil Whittaker at the CMI Jinling Weihai Shipyard.

The Swedish group said it marks the end of a seven-year development programme totalling a £400m investment in new ferries and port infrastructure in the Irish Sea operation.

Stena Embla will now embark on a six-week journey to Belfast.

At 215 metres in length, the new ship will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane metres, meaning a 40 per cent increase in freight tonnage, and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.

Stena Line’s chief executive, Niclas Mårtensson, said 2020 had been a difficult year for the company.

“While delivery of the vessel marks the end of a very tough period for us, it also marks the completion of a very significant investment in our Irish Sea operations.

“It reflects our strong support for the region that will see three of the world’s most modern ferries operating between Britain and Ireland.

“We recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the relocation of our Northern Ireland operations to Belfast and 25 years since we commenced the Holyhead to Dublin route. Our three new ferries in the region are a sign of our strong commitment to another 25 years on the Irish Sea,” he added.

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