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Stena Orders 14 and 15 of E-Flexer RoPax for Attica to Sail in Adriatic

RoPax ferry Canada
Ala'suinu is the 10th vessel of the class but its entry into service is being delayed by a mechanical issue (Marine Atlantic)

Published Jun 28, 2024 6:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Stena RoRo ordered two additional vessels in its popular E-Flexer RoPax series. The design that was first introduced five years ago has proven to be very flexible and advanced the market for RoPax ferries operating for a range of shipping companies.

The new vessels will also be built at the Chinese shipyard CMI Jinling (Weihai). Stena reports they will be delivered in 2027 and highlights that these two vessels will have methanol-ready propulsion as well as a battery-hybrid installation. One of the features of the class is its flexible design which is being customized to individual operators. Stena introduced the first vessel in 2019 sailing in the Irish Sea, but since then the class has also been put into service for Brittany Ferries on its cross-English Channel service and for DFDS. Canada’s Marine Atlantic is the next to introduce the class but is currently struggling to resolve a mechanical issue on the newest ship of the class before it can enter service.

The first five vessels of the class were built with conventional engines but starting with the second ship for Brittany Ferries introduced in 2021 they also adopted LNG. They also developed an extended length version and starting with the new Marine Atlantic vessel added the battery-hybrid system. Two more vessels of the class are under construction for Brittany Ferries and a third one for Corsica Linea.

The next vessels, which will be number 14 and 15, will operate under a long-term charter to Attica Group. The Greek ferry company, which operates Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, and ANEK Lines, will have an option to purchase the two vessels and a potential option for two more vessels.

Attica, which currently has a fleet of more than 40 vessels highlights the E-Flexer as a logical extension to its heritage of innovative designs. Superfast redefined the Adriatic ferry market they note with the speed and comfort of its vessels. They believe the E-Flexer will raise the standard for the entire Greek ferry industry.

The new vessels will each be 787 feet (240 meters) in length. They will have 256 passenger cabins with a total capacity of 1,500 passengers and 3,329 cargo meters of freight. The ships will operate at speeds of 24 knots.

News of the order came at the same time as Marine Atlantic announced it has again delayed the entry of its E-Flexer Ala’suinu while working with Stena and experts to resolve a mechanical problem. The vessel was delivered in February and made the run to Atlantic Canada arriving in April to begin commissioning and certification. The ship is 37,800 gross tons with capacity for 1,000 passengers and is planned for the route between eastern Newfoundland and Cape Breton and winters to North Sydney.

At the end of May, Marine Atlantic reported it had discovered a problem with the lubrication system and delayed the June 14 maiden voyage. The first sailing has been pushed back several times, the latest was today till at least July 10. The company says it continues to find debris in the fuel and lubrication system. They reported it has been a challenge over the past three weeks and “some uncertainty remains.” They however still believe the vessel will provide new amenities and be a strong addition when it enters service.