As our production prepares the delivery for the fifth STENA E-Flexer...


the first steel was cut for what will become the fifth E-Flexer for Stena. Known as AVIC Weihai Shipyard’s yard number W0268, the fifth ship will be long-term bareboat chartered by DFDS for Calais-Dover service.

The steel cutting was attended by members of Stena RoRo's on-site team, a yard delegation and a few members of DFDS's newbuilding team who will follow the construction with observer status.

The fifth E-Flexer – understood to be named CÔTE D’OPALE – is expected to be delivered in 2021. It will largely follow the standard E-Flexer design with an unchanged freight and car intake of 3,100 freight lanemetres and 120 cars on a separate car deck. However, it is unlikely that the 343-lanemetre lower hold will be used on the Calais-Dover route. The accommodation will be adapted for the 90-minute service with passenger cabins on Deck 8 aft becoming public spaces. Both the bow and stern will be modified to fit the double-deck linkspans in Calais and Dover. The ship will perform up to 20 berthing manoeuvres per day and will therefore be equipped with a third bow thruster.

It is expected that CÔTE D’OPALE will replace the 1992-built, 1,784-lanemetre and 2,000-passenger capacity CALAIS SEAWAYS, but market developments will ultimately determine the final deployment plan.

Stena RoRo has ordered nine E-Flexers so far and holds an option for two more ships. Two ships in the series will be a lengthened version and will sail under the Stena Line banner when delivered in 2022.

© Shippax / Philippe Holthof

Aluminox marine