Stena Embla, the last of three Stena Line’s new ferries destined for the Irish Sea, has completed its sea trials in China’s Yellow Sea.
The RoPax vessel is being constructed at the CMI Jingling Weihai Shipyard in China.
The Swedish owned ferry company said the pandemic did not delay the build of the vessel, which remains on track for delivery in December 2020.
During the sea trials, the ship’s engine performance and fuel consumption were tested together with navigation and radio equipment, emergency systems, speed, maneuverability, and safety.
“It is great to see that the shipyard has not missed a beat during this year’s final stages of the build. Today the last of our three next generation ferries achieved a very important milestone bang on time,” said Stena Line’s Paul Grant, Trade Director, Irish Sea.
“We systematically go through all aspects of the new ship and I am pleased to say that Stena Embla has successfully completed every trial. We now look forward to the full handover of the vessel by the shipyard and starting her journey to the Irish Sea” he added.
Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said that the introduction of Stena Embla and her sister ships, Stena Estrid and Stena Edda, reflected the company’s commitment to the Irish Sea.
“We strongly believe that our ferry business on the Irish Sea will continue to grow. It remains a key region for the company, as evidenced by our continued investment and the addition of three new vessels.
“It has been a very challenging year for our business. But I am proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues to shape the industry for life after the global pandemic and to put us into a position to support our customers after Brexit” he concluded.
The new Stena Line ferries are 25% more fuel-efficient than existing vessels. With 215 meters in length, they are much larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, providing 30% more freight capacity with 3,100 lane meters.
They have the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.
Next up for Stena Embla is an official handover ceremony at around Christmas before she sets sail on the long journey from China to Belfast. The ship is set to start operating the Belfast to Birkenhead route in early 2021 alongside sister ship Stena Edda, launched in March.
The new vessel replaces the Stena Mersey, which has operated on the Belfast to Birkenhead route for 10 years. The Mersey will then head off to join sister ship the Stena Lagan in Turkey where both ships are being extended, before re-deployment on the Baltic Sea.
During the summer Stena Line also confirmed that the construction of two new larger E-Flexer ferries has begun in Weihai, China. Their keels were recently laid in the same shipyard in Weihai and the delivery is expected in 2022.