Two More E-Flexers

Stena Line has decided to exercise its option to build a seventh and eighth E-Flexer vessel. The two vessels will be deployed within Stena Line’s route network with a planned delivery in 2022. Additionally, Stena Ro-Ro has taken an option on the construction of a further four E-Flexer vessels also to be built at Avic Weihai Shipyard, China. The new order and the four further options are important milestones for Stena RoRo. As with the previous E-Flexer vessels ordered by Stena, energy efficiency and sustainability will be key design features. The two new ships on order will be larger than the three E-Flexer designs currently being built for Stena Line. The first three E-Flexer ships will be 215m long with 3,100 lane metres of freight capacity whilst the next two ships will be 239.7m long with 27.8m beam, 6.4m draught, a freight capacity of 3,600 lane metres and a passenger capacity of 1,200 with 263 cabins. A total of eight vessels have now been ordered by Stena from Avic Weihai Shipyard in China. The first one is planned to operate on Holyhead-Dublin and the next two delivered to Stena Line are planned to operate on the Liverpool-Belfast service. Three other vessels will be chartered out to Brittany Ferries (2 for Portsmouth-Spain) and DFDS (Dover-Calais) by Stena RoRo. Stena Line is also adding capacity to the Rostock-Trelleborg route with the 21,154gt/1989 built rail ferry Sassnitz on selected days each week from September following a 3% increase in Ro-Ro traffic. The Sassnitz has been based on the Sassnitz-Trelleborg route. The 13,017gt/1996 built Stena Scotia is transferring to the Belfast-Liverpool (Birkenhead) service as refit relief for the 19,722gt/2012 built Stena Performer and the 24,688gt/2003 built Stena Forerunner is to move from the Harwich service to replace the 19,722gt/2012 built Stena Precision. The ‘Performer and ‘Precision are both returning to their owner, Seatruck Ferries.

MAIB Report Released

On 18th July the MAIB published the report into a serious engine failure aboard a Cross-Solent ferry. At 2133 on 12th September 2017, while approaching Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, the ferry Wight Sky suffered a catastrophic failure of Main Engine 2, one of her Volvo Penta D16 main propulsion engines, followed by a fire. The fire was brought under control in less than 2 minutes, but the vessel’s Engineer, who had been standing near the engine, suffered serious burn injuries to his hands and face. Although he was discharged from hospital 7 days later, he was subsequently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and has not returned to work since. A rebuild of this engine by authorised subcontractors had commenced mid-August 2017 but the engine failure occurred 5.5 hours after recommissioning. Debris found in the engine was attributed to the cause and the investigation advised that rebuilding the engine and transporting it in parts to the engine room through an emergency escape hatch rather than using the vessel’s deck opening for the engine, created the possibility of dirt ingress into the engine bearing lubricating channel. The engine was also not fitted with a wear detector, so there was no means of receiving a warning before the engine failed. The MAIB recommended that Volvo Penta UK considers offering wear particle detection technology for marine engines that cannot be easily serviced on board a vessel.

Ship Show

Royal Ceremony

On 24th July Red Funnel’s brand new 363gt and £7 million highspeed passenger catamaran Red Jet 7 was named at Trinity Landing, Cowes, Isle of Wight, a stone’s throw from her birthplace at Wight Shipyard in East Cowes. The ceremony was undertaken by HRH Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall in the presence of civic dignitaries, invited guests and members of the public including 300 children from local schools in Cowes. The Right Reverend Christopher Foster, Lord Bishop of Portsmouth blessed the new ship, which was followed by the Duchess breaking a bottle of Isle of Wight produced ‘champagne’ on Red Jet 7’s bow and unveiling a commemorative plaque.

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