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Author Topic: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!  (Read 2961 times)

Steven

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-Introducing the world’s most fuel efficient RoPax vessels-


 
Last year Stena announced a newbuild contract of four RoPax ferry vessels with a planned delivery schedule during 2019 and 2020.  The contract also contains an option for another four vessels to be ordered.  The four vessels are being built at the AVIC Shipyard in China and the plan is to locate the vessels on the Irish Sea, specifically on Stena Line’s routes to and from its expanding Belfast hub.
 
“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 offering a frequent high quality service for our customers to and from Belfast. Looking ahead, we intend to continue our ambitious development plan for our business in the region and the new vessels are a part of this strategic plan.   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.  These new vessels will be the largest ferries ever to operate between Belfast and Great Britain”, said Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson.
 
Joe O’Neill, Commercial Director, Belfast Harbour commented: “We are delighted that Stena Line is planning for Belfast as the location for its next generation of RoPax vessels in what is a significant investment in and enhancement of Northern Ireland’s premier freight and tourism gateway.  Belfast Harbour has worked in close partnership with Stena Line over the last two decades to help it expand its Belfast routes into a flourishing hub and this very welcome investment news comes on the back of a record year for Stena Line’s freight business in Belfast Harbour.  We look forward to welcoming the new vessels and the associated benefits they will bring to Belfast Harbour and the economy of Northern Ireland.”
 
The new vessels are being constructed in line with Stena Line’s strategic focus on sustainability.
 
“The new RoPax vessels will be among the most fuel efficient in the world with approximately 25% lower CO2 emissions per cargo unit than current RoPax tonnage.  Our aim is to lead the development of sustainability within the shipping industry and set a new industry standard when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness.  The vessels will run on traditional fuel, but are designed to the class notation “gas ready” and are also prepared for scrubbers as well as catalytic converters, giving us flexibility for the future”, says Niclas Mårtensson.
 
Stena Line, Gothenburg
15th February 2017
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 01:40:05 PM by Steven »
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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NathanBrady

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 04:19:31 PM »
Stena Brexitica I-IV??  We are stuck with Superfast X
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 04:22:04 PM by NathanBrady »

Steven

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 05:27:31 PM »
Stena Brexitica I-IV??  We are stuck with Superfast X
A return to regional names such as Stena Antrim and Stena Galloway would be my preference (I've given up all hope of a return to the 'pPrincess' nomenclature).  Whether marketing have the same opinion though is another matter!  For now it certainly looks as though the lineup of Adventurer and Superfast X will remain at Dub.  Interesting though that Stena are planning to increase freight capacity at LRP by 50% if schedules remain the same or similar to present.  927 passengers per ship could be a bit tight at certain times though!  Of course if that increased capacity is used then it creates another problem - turning around 50% more freight within the same turnaround time (again, assuming the current sailing frequency remains)
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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Matt73

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 05:37:11 PM »
Stena Brexitica I-IV??  We are stuck with Superfast X
A return to regional names such as Stena Antrim and Stena Galloway would be my preference (I've given up all hope of a return to the 'pPrincess' nomenclature).  Whether marketing have the same opinion though is another matter!  For now it certainly looks as though the lineup of Adventurer and Superfast X will remain at Dub.  Interesting though that Stena are planning to increase freight capacity at LRP by 50% if schedules remain the same or similar to present.  927 passengers per ship could be a bit tight at certain times though!  Of course if that increased capacity is used then it creates another problem - turning around 50% more freight within the same turnaround time (again, assuming the current sailing frequency remains)

Thanks Steven, again, for this.  I know that we're off topic, but I thought that the abuse directed towards you elsewhere was totally unacceptable.

I did have a laugh when I read Nathan's suggestion.  Like Steven, I would prefer a return to the old names.  My preference would be Stena Galloway and Stena Caldedonia. I presume they will continue with Mersey and Lagan for Liverpool.  I like the E-Flexer name for the class too.  That said, I wish the funnel was less squat.  Maybe replicate the Superfast's instead? 

Is there any mutter in the gutter about whether they will order another four to try and renew the fleet in Scandinavia?  Given the price they're paying for these four, they will surely recoup the cost fairly easily? 

Thanks.

Matt


Davy Jones

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 05:41:46 PM »
Obviously the 2 chartered Superfasts will be returned to their owners. What could we envisage will happen to Stenas Lagan and Mersey. Nice economical runners, but not easily deployed on short, fast turnaround routes due to their single tier stern only loading arrangements - or could they be modified?

Matt73

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 05:54:43 PM »
Obviously the 2 chartered Superfasts will be returned to their owners. What could we envisage will happen to Stenas Lagan and Mersey. Nice economical runners, but not easily deployed on short, fast turnaround routes due to their single tier stern only loading arrangements - or could they be modified?

Stena RoRo may well apply their 'Stenability' there and get them converted to drive through with bow doors.  Or maybe they'll go to Scandinavia, where their sisters, Scottish Viking and Stena Flavia, are already in place. 

Matt

Matt73

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 05:57:39 PM »
Stena Brexitica I-IV??  We are stuck with Superfast X
A return to regional names such as Stena Antrim and Stena Galloway would be my preference (I've given up all hope of a return to the 'pPrincess' nomenclature).  Whether marketing have the same opinion though is another matter!  For now it certainly looks as though the lineup of Adventurer and Superfast X will remain at Dub.  Interesting though that Stena are planning to increase freight capacity at LRP by 50% if schedules remain the same or similar to present.  927 passengers per ship could be a bit tight at certain times though!  Of course if that increased capacity is used then it creates another problem - turning around 50% more freight within the same turnaround time (again, assuming the current sailing frequency remains)

Am I right that the Loch Ryan pair are the first new conventional builds for the route since Galloway Princess in 1979?  I don't place the HSS in the same category. 

Matt

Steven

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 06:16:47 PM »
Obviously the 2 chartered Superfasts will be returned to their owners. What could we envisage will happen to Stenas Lagan and Mersey. Nice economical runners, but not easily deployed on short, fast turnaround routes due to their single tier stern only loading arrangements - or could they be modified?
Obvious places would be Ireland to France, or replace other chartered visentini's (Scottish Viking for example).  Theres also Urd of course.  Wild card could be Fishguard, would certainly get operating costs down and remember they can take 1000 passengers (but operate at reduced pax certificate for passenger comfort on the long crossing at present).  As for turnaround's, IF have managed it with Epsilon (to my surprise).  As for the Superfasts, as I said in the other thread, if they were available for the right price they could have their uses. 




Stena Brexitica I-IV??  We are stuck with Superfast X
A return to regional names such as Stena Antrim and Stena Galloway would be my preference (I've given up all hope of a return to the 'pPrincess' nomenclature).  Whether marketing have the same opinion though is another matter!  For now it certainly looks as though the lineup of Adventurer and Superfast X will remain at Dub.  Interesting though that Stena are planning to increase freight capacity at LRP by 50% if schedules remain the same or similar to present.  927 passengers per ship could be a bit tight at certain times though!  Of course if that increased capacity is used then it creates another problem - turning around 50% more freight within the same turnaround time (again, assuming the current sailing frequency remains)

Am I right that the Loch Ryan pair are the first new conventional builds for the route since Galloway Princess in 1979?  I don't place the HSS in the same category. 

Matt

Yes.  Who'd have thought also when Irish Continental had to pull the plug on Belfast to Liverpool in 1990 we'd be discussing the third pair of new builds for the route (ignoring the second Norse Mersey) less than 30 years later!
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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giftgrub

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 09:13:03 PM »
Great news to see the first four ships coming to the Irish Sea, must be the biggest investment in Irish shipping ever.

Looking forward to seeing how they will configure the ships as day and night ferries for the two different routes.

It will also give the forums and the Facebook plenty to talk about !

With regards to converting Visentinis for bow loading as far as I know, Stena looked at that before when they bought the ships from TTT LINE and Stena Egeria andthe costs were going to be too much to justify it.

market knowledge

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 09:56:03 AM »
where does it say 2 of the ships will be on cairnryan
could stena use all 4 to birkinhead and abandon heysham

Davy Jones

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 01:20:40 PM »
I wouldnt think there is enough passenger traffic to justify 4 vessels of this nature on the Liverpool-Belfast service.

I recently travelled to Belfast  and back on Stena Horizon. Both freight decks were fully sardined but there wern't many travellers.

They could of course, kill Heysham anyway and just use the existing freight vessels direct to Liverpool or Birkenhead - or even Mostyn.

Assuming they do put 2 of the new ships on Belfast - Loch Ryan, it is going to give P&O something to think about.

TC

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2017, 08:21:31 PM »
This is indeed not good for P&O. Stena are in-effect increasing capacity by 30% on each sailing from Cairnryan. I understand the situation at Larne has improved and reliability was 'A1' last year, not one cancelation, but this is indeed very troubling.

Stena, I imagine will try and undercut P&O on price, given these new ships are more efficient than Highlander / Causeway, they may well succeed. - If so, Larne is in serious, serious trouble. P&O will likely not be able to compete and lose customers, which will result in ships leaving port at half capacity, which is simply unsustainable. 

European Highlander and European Causeway could easily be transferred to Dover, replacing possibly European Seaway and Pride of Burgundy.

Steven

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2017, 09:30:19 PM »
where does it say 2 of the ships will be on cairnryan
could stena use all 4 to birkinhead and abandon heysham

The use of "routes" in the plural sense suggests more than one route.  There is absolutely no chance of them fitting Heysham, so that leaves Birkenhead and Cairnryan.  Loads at Heysham are good so I dont see them pulling out, though they may have a tonnage problem if Seatruck take back the FSG's at the end of their current charters.  Warrenpoint continues to grow, and its location next to the Irish border means it could stand to gain quite a bit depending on how Brexit goes - remember much of the traffic coming from NI to Dublin has to pass Warrenpoint first.

which will result in ships leaving port at half capacity,
:-X

This is indeed not good for P&O. Stena are in-effect increasing capacity by 30% on each sailing from Cairnryan. I understand the situation at Larne has improved and reliability was 'A1' last year, not one cancelation, but this is indeed very troubling.

Stena, I imagine will try and undercut P&O on price, given these new ships are more efficient than Highlander / Causeway, they may well succeed. - If so, Larne is in serious, serious trouble. P&O will likely not be able to compete and lose customers, which will result in ships leaving port at half capacity, which is simply unsustainable. 

European Highlander and European Causeway could easily be transferred to Dover, replacing possibly European Seaway and Pride of Burgundy.

P&O should be very concerned, and not just by the capacity increase at Cairnryan either.  Stena's capacity increases at both Birkenhead and Heysham (in response to a growing shift of traffic to the English routes) in recent years along with the rise of Seatruck's Warrenpoint operation make P&O's decision to abandon the diagonal route from Larne look very short-sighted indeed.  Yes Fleetwood was constrained, but did they seriously look at alternatives?  The management of the day have a lot to answer for IMO, and not just in regard to the Irish Sea (but thats another conversation entirely).  Now even more capacity is being added and thats before we see what Seatruck do down at Warrenpoint.  It is also notable that P&O at present have the advantage of being able to carry more high trailers than Stena - an advantage that will disappear when these new builds arrive.  If nothing else Stena's costs look likely to plummet (dont forget the Superfast VII class's running costs, and not just in fuel either!).

Causeway and Highlander would need a lot of money spent on them to be suitable for Dover IMO, simply from a passenger capacity point of view (410 vs 2000 at present).  Unless of course passenger numbers take a nose dive post-brexit, which tbh I dont see happening the extent required (arguably a better response might be to reduce sailing frequency in any case, particularly if freight levels drop as well) and would pose serious problems for the operation of the current Dover tonnage for both operators.

I understand it would be possible to enlarge Causeway and Highlander (there was talk that such an option has previously been looked at on the present route when the idea of carrying most passengers on a fast craft backfired,  but was ruled out due to size constraints/draught).  I doubt that they were designed with the intention of increasing their PC five-fold though!  At best, they would be a stop-gap option for a lot of expenditure I feel for hulls that are just 10 years younger than those they'd replace (bare in mind also that PoK etc were rebuilt at a similar time as the Mitsubishi's entering service).  Then the question is what do P&O do at Larne?  They could abandon it, yes, but then they have started to make headway again with volumes.  Perhaps with Stena increasing capacity so much we could see a revised timetable - both operators could benefit greatly from dropping a return trip and have the capacity to do so.  Its a question of who jumps first and whether the other operator follows suit or tries to gain an advantage.  With 4 new ships coming to Belfast and at least 1 to the central corridor in the next 5 years we should have plenty to talk about on here (and many trips for some of us to book!!!).
Steve in Belfast (suburbia)

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TC

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2017, 10:39:02 PM »
Could European Causeway not simply replace European Seaway (after modification of stern & cow catcher)? She is a freighter and replacing a freighter with a freighter shouldn't impact on passenger experience.

Regarding European Highlander, I imagine she could be centralised on just taking passengers with cars, focusing largely on freight. Naturally, berthing mods would be required.

P&O have worked very hard this past year. The dropping of Troon and the costly HSC Express, has allowed P&O to cut costs, also helped by the shorter crossing times and the more frugal nature of their ships vs the Superfast twins. However, like you said Steven, this goes completely out the window. Stena even market these new ships as the most efficient in the world!

If P&O moved the Highlander and Causeway to Dover, replaced them at Larne with vessels more frugal than their new Stena counterparts, then their ability to compete will be much better. However there is still the capacity increase - is this sustainable? Stena are going from 2000 to 3000, a large increase. To put this in perspective, Pride of Rotterdam has 3300 LM, and she can gobble up allot of freight.

It'll be interesting to see how Stena's running costs compare with Ulysses new running mate - Somehow, I see the Stena vessels having a considerable edge over their IF counterparts. The new IF vessels appears to have more decks = more weight = more fuel burn. Stena could theoretically replace both vessels at Dublin, and undercut Irish Ferries, like the scenario which P&O will surely experience at Larne.

I am a little sceptical of DP World offering P&O two new vessels for Larne, but if Highlander and Causeway could be shifted to Dover to replace Burgundy and Seaway, this could be an option. Remember, Seaway and Burgundy have had much tougher lives than their NI counterparts. The Japanese twins are in pretty good shape and if they were given a good dry-docking and refit (mechanically), they could easily operate out of Dover for 10 – 14 years.

I wonder would there be much of a demand (or if its possible) for a P&O Warrenpoint - Liverpool service? With the right ships could they restart a Fleetwood - Larne service?

HSS

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Re: OFFICIAL: Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes!
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2017, 11:44:18 PM »
I am happy that Stena Adventurer may well be staying at Holyhead!