LR to support the retrofit of two Stena Line ferries to methanol

15 May 2024

The Stena Superfast VII (pictured) and Stena Superfast VIII will be retrofitted with methanol propulsion

Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII will be transferred to LR Class and converted to methanol propulsion.

Building upon the success of the Stena Germanica in 2015, Lloyd's Register (LR) and Stena Lines will work together on a project to retrofit two fast roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessels with methanol propulsion.

The conversion will see the Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII Ro-Ro ferries, which operate on the Scotland to Northern Ireland route between Cairnryan and Belfast, converted to methanol dual-fuel propulsion with the vessels transferring class to LR.

As part of the project, the retrofit process will convert two out of the four main engines in each vessel to run on methanol alongside MGO (Marine Gas Oil). The ship's bunkering, storage, fuel supply and supporting systems will also be adapted for methanol.

The LR-classed Stena Germanica is the only retrofitted methanol vessel in service and will provide valuable experience for the project to convert Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII.

Paul Herbert, Principal Technology Specialist, Lloyd's Register said:

"The project to retrofit the Stena Superfast VII and VIII with methanol dual-fuel propulsion underlines Stena Line Ferries and LR's shared commitment to sustainability and the importance of embracing alternative fuels for a more sustainable future. Leveraging our expertise and experience gained from the successful conversion of the Stena Germanica in 2015, we are poised to deliver another groundbreaking solution that will pave the way for greener and more efficient ferry operations."

Ian Hampton, COO Fleet & Government Affairs, Stena Line Ferries said:

"As we continue to implement our strategy to decarbonise our operations, we still see methanol as a viable alternative fuel that will help us achieve this ambition. Lloyds Register with their knowledge and experience from supporting the conversion project of Stena Germanica nine years ago will once again be able to provide the necessary support with these retrofits of our existing tonnage. In the process, it will make them more sustainable by reducing CO2 emissions and encouraging the technology and development needed on our ongoing journey towards fossil free shipping."

Stena Superfast VII.   Image by LR.

LR's recent Fuel for thought: Methanol for Passenger Ships report shows that methanol is an increasingly technically viable for shipowners, however Infrastructure and investment need to be prioritised for widespread adoption. LR has also built upon its expertise with projects such as the partnership with Danish methanol-as-marine-fuel consultancy Green Marine focusing on seafarer training for methanol handling and approval in principle for NACKS methanol-fuelled 81,000 DWT bulk carrier.

Lloyd's Register press release