AT RECORD SPEED
Stena Roro’s main highlights in 2020 included delivery of three new ships from China – on time, on budget and in the right quality. They also included the conversion of a ferry at record speed, as well as involvement in several other conversion projects. In addition, the successful trial voyage of the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Global Mercy – with planned delivery in 2021 – was carried out.
Stena RoRo builds and charters out RoRo and RoPax vessels. RoRo vessels carry wheeled cargo, primarily lorries, creating bridges at sea all over the world. On the RoPax vessels, load capacity is combined with all of the facilities offered by modern vessels to their passengers. Currently, a number of vessels are chartered out to operators around the world; both to Stena Line and to external partners.
SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PROJECTS
Activities include the construction of new vessels, design and further development of existing vessels, in order to provide customised transport solutions. Stena RoRo has been successful in these operations over the years, thanks to an active “SuStenability” strategy of buying ships at advantageous prices, creating value through development, and achieving gains in the right market conditions. As an example, in the spring of 2020 and at record speed – only 3.5 months – Stena RoRo converted Stena Superfast X into a night ferry operating between Marseille, Corsica and North Africa, on a ten-year contract with the French ferry operator Corsica Linea. The conversion took place at a yard in Piraeus, Greece, where Stena RoRo’s personnel stayed permanently from March to June, due to the travel restrictions. “They did a fantastic job,” says MD Per Westling.
Other conversion projects during the year included the RoPax vessel Stena Lagan and the sister vessel Stena Mersey, both to be delivered during 2021.
The year also saw a successful trial voyage for the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Global Mercy, which will be put into operation in West Africa during 2022, by the Mercy Ships humanitarian organisation. “This is a fine example of our ability to adapt and customise RoPax vessels for special purposes,” says Per Westling.
During the year, Stena RoRo succeeded in maintaining its activities, with the execution of several projects. The profit for the year was under pressure, however, from a weak charter market and the business area’s takeover of three vessels from Stena Line in conjunction with the discontinuation of two routes. “It was difficult to keep these vessels employed, in view of the restrictions for passenger ferry traffic due to the pandemic. This meant that they were laid up for a major part of the year,” Per Westling explains.
NEW SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS
Stena RoRo’s most extensive current initiative is the development of the new generation of RoPax vessels, called Stena E-Flexers, at the Weihai Shipyard in Northeast China. These vessels are 50 per cent larger than Stena Line’s corresponding existing vessels in the Irish Sea, where the two first vessels operate. They are also setting a new sustainability standard within the RoPax segment and creating new benchmarks for emissions, costs and energy efficiency, since they can run on different types of fuel and be converted to run on gas fuels. Three of these vessels were delivered in 2020, of which two to Stena Line and one to Brittany Ferries. The pandemic and travel restrictions meant that Stena RoRo was unable to visit the yard and had to use other working methods. With the help of digital tools, delivery negotiations and the actual handover of the vessels, could take place. “It was a great joy and relief to deliver the vessels on time, on budget and in the right quality. This was due in particular to our good relationship with the yard in China,” comments Per Westling. A further five vessels will be built at the Chinese yard, commissioned by Stena RoRo, with delivery in 2021–2023.
Stena RoRo holds ISO 14001 certification for environment management and therefore works systematically to minimise the environmental impacts of the vessels that are built, converted and chartered. Health and safety is also an important part of day-to-day operations, with established key figures in this area.
Share of Total income
Capital employed, MSEK