After a two-ship order from Brittany Ferries earlier this week, Stena RoRo has executed a new charter agreement with Marine Atlantic, a Canadian federal Crown corporation. As a result, Stena has ordered its tenth E-Flexer vessel from the CMI Jinling (Weihai) shipyard. The ship, when delivered, will run in eastern Canada between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Delivery from the shipyard is expected during 2024.
In Budget 2019, the Government of Canada provided funding for Marine Atlantic to replace an existing vessel. The funding allowed for the charter of a new vessel for 5 years with an option to purchase after 5 years. The Corporation launched a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in July 2019, with successful bidders moving to an RFP stage in June 2020.
The new vessel will be ice classed and have a length of 202.9m, a beam of 27.8m and have capacity for 1,100 passengers and 2,471 lane meters in total of which 476 will be for cars. It will incorporate the latest accessibility standards, have 146 passenger cabins (including pet friendly cabins), 40 passenger pods, a variety of food service options, seating lounges, a children’s play area, and a kennel for pets.
The ship will be constructed with specific measures to reduce underwater noise, thereby reducing the impact on marine life. The ship will also offer enhanced power and thruster capability for maximum manoeuvring ability during docking and undocking. It will be compatible for use on both the Port aux Basques and Argentia services and is intended for delivery in 2024.
“Marine Atlantic is a former customer of ours,” said Per Westling, managing director for Stena RoRo. “We delivered one ferry in 2000 and two more in 2010 to Marine Atlantic, all of which are still in service. We were successful in executing this new charter contract after a very competitive and extensive procurement process. We are extremely pleased to be able to continue to deliver high quality ships to this important customer. Our focus is on adapting ship design to our customers’ specific wishes and in this case, our E-Flexer platform is very well suited, as it meets the customer’s requirements for an optimal hull form combined with efficient dual-fuel engines and a battery-hybrid solution to minimise emissions”.
“Marine Atlantic is an essential service that is vital to the national supply chain. The new vessel to be delivered to Marine Atlantic will play an important role in helping us to continue to meet the needs of our customers. The design of the vessel combines key priorities such as manoeuvrability, safety, accessibility, while minimizing environmental impacts, to provide our customers with a modern, efficient and reliable service,” commented Gary O’Brien Chair, Board of Directors, Marine Atlantic.
“We are excited to begin the countdown towards accepting the delivery of a new charter vessel for our service. We look forward to working with our partner in this project, Stena RoRo AB. Stena RoRo is a leading innovator in the roll on/roll off cargo and passenger ferry market globally,” commented Murray Hupman President and CEO, Marine Atlantic.