Stena Line lays the keel for Stena Futura – the first of its NewMax ships

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Stena Line has reached an important milestone in its fleet investment programme with the keel laying 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.

The keel laying ceremony of the first of the two all-new NewMax hybrid vessels took place in China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in WeiHai, China. Stena Futura, the chosen name for this ship, is one of two NewMax hybrid vessels that will play a key role in Stena Line’s journey to sustainable fuel as they will both be able to operate on methanol fuel.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. 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,” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO Stena Line.Keel-laying is one of the milestones in the construction of a ship and the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. 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.