Stena Line has laid the keel of the first NewMax vessel to be deployed on the Belfast-Heysham route. At the same time, the ferry’s name was disclosed: Stena Futura. It will be able to operate on methanol fuel.

The keel laying ceremony took place at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in WeiHai, China, on Friday, 28 June. The Stena Futura is the first of two NewMax hybrid vessels.

The keel-laying of the second of the two NewMax vessels is planned for this fall and the name of that vessel is yet to be revealed. The NewMax hybrid vessels will be launched on the Irish Sea in 2025.

Also read: LR supports methanol retrofit of two Stena Line ferries

Methanol and battery power

These vessels will significantly enhance capacity on the Belfast-Heysham route on the Irish Sea. Besides being able to run on methanol, a priority during construction of the vessels will be to provide built-in technologies that can take advantage of both battery propulsion and shore power, where this is available.

‘We are dedicated to taking responsibility and to be part of the solution to climate change,’ says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line. ‘Investing in new ships, prepared to run on alternative fuels as well as electricity, is an important part of our strategy of moving towards new sustainable fuels and setting new industry standards.’

Picture: Artist impression of the Stena Line NewMax vessel (by Stena Line).

Also read: Stena Line converts two vessels to increase cargo capacity