Stena Line builds NewMax: a new class of hybrid cargo ships


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Inspenet, May 13, 2023

Stena Line , a major ferry operator in Europe, has revealed plans to build two new purpose-built roll-on/roll-off cargo ships for its growing Belfast-Heysham freight service in the Irish Sea.

The 147-meter vessels, known as the NewMax class, have been designed to maximize cargo volumes and will offer a capacity of 2,800 lane meters each, representing an 80% increase compared to the vessels’ current capacities. They will also have the capacity to carry 12 passengers and 26 crew members.

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1804 stena line NewMax buques carga hibridos interna

Stena Line’s NewMax ships will use renewable fuel

The new Stena Line ships will operate on methanol fuel. Stena Line indicated that it is working closely with the methanol supply chain to secure future volumes of e-methanol, with the goal of switching to renewable fuels and reducing CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030.

Stena Line became the first ferry operator to operate a methanol ferry when it converted the Stena Germanica in 2015.

NewMax vessels have been designed for future electrification, with embedded technologies that can harness battery propulsion and shore power where available.

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said the investment shows the company’s dedication to sustainability and its strategy of moving towards sustainable fuels. “The NewMax vessels will arrive to meet growing customer demand, adding significant capacity to allow logistics operators to grow their business in the region,” he said.

The ships have been designed with a bespoke marine technology configuration to make them more resilient to the tidal systems prevailing at Heysham, which can be challenging. They will come equipped with three bow thrusters for better maneuverability and reliability and a specially designed engine/propeller configuration to improve docking capability in extreme weather conditions.

Construction of the two new ships will begin in Weihai, China, via Stena RoRo, with both ships expected to enter service on the route in autumn 2025 from Stena Line’s Belfast port.

Stena Line is currently the largest ferry operator in the Irish Sea, offering multiple service routes, including a freight-only route from Belfast to Heysham. The company’s fleet offers up to 238 weekly sailing options between Great Britain and Ireland.

Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg and will introduce an upgraded ship, Stena Vision, on this route this summer, making this route the most frequent service from Ireland to France with 12 trips per week.

Inspenet, May 13, 2023

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Photos : Stena Line

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