Business news

Stena order two new ferries for significant expansion of Belfast to Heysham service

Stena Line said the two new 'NewMax' ferries will expand freight volumes by 80 per cent on the Belfast to Heysham crossing in 2025.

Stena Line is to construct two new ferries as part of a significant expansion of its Belfast to Heysham freight service.

The Swedish company said the multi-million-pound investment will increase freight capacity on the route by around 80 per cent.

The two new 147 metre ‘NewMax’ vessels, which are due to enter service in the autumn of 2025, will be capable of running on methanol fuel.

The shipping giant said it is currently working on securing a supply chain for the fuel as part of its ambition of cutting CO2 emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

The ferries will be equipped to carry 26 crew and 12 passengers.

“This is very significant day for Belfast - Heysham freight traffic,” said Stena Line trade director Paul Grant.

“By adding an extra 80 per cent capacity to the route, Stena Line has responded to growing demands from customers. 

“We have operated a very popular service on Belfast-Heysham for several years now but with restricted capacity it has been challenging to meet increased market growth.  With the extra capacity, we will now be able to significantly enhance our service on this route and complement our Birkenhead, Cairnryan and Holyhead services.”

The chief executive of Belfast Harbour, Joe O’Neill said the two new vessels will support the increased volume of RoRo (roll-on/roll-off) traffic moving through Belfast Harbour.

“We are committed to working in close collaboration with our long-standing and much valued partners at Stena Line, as we work together to invest in port infrastructure and develop as a world leading regional port,” he said.

“We share Stena Line’s ambitions to meet increased market growth and exceed customer expectations and will continue to support them at this exciting time for the Belfast-Heysham freight route.”