The construction of a new set of RoPax vessels for Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has commenced at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China.

Each of the vessels is set to be 214.5m-long, 27.8m-wide and feature a draft capacity of 6.4m.

The vessels will be designed to carry 120 cars with 3,100 lane metres of car deck capacity, as well as 1,000 passengers.

In addition, each RoPax ship will be powered by two V12 4-stroke diesel engines and comprise a total of 175 cabins.

The vessels are expected to be capable of travelling at speeds of 22k.

"Our overall target is that these vessels will be the absolute state-of-the-art when it comes to energy efficiency, flexibility and customer service."

Stena Line’s new ships will be 50% bigger than the existing generation of RoPax vessels and are planned to be deployed on the Irish Sea to further strengthen the company’s operations in the region.

Deliveries of the vessels are expected to take place during 2019 and 2020.

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Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said: “Our overall target is that these vessels will be the absolute state-of-the-art when it comes to energy efficiency, flexibility and customer service.

“In particular, we are placing heavy emphasis on developing a range of exciting new digital features, which will provide our customers with unique additional services connected with their journey, as well as developing a new, integrated digital onboard experience.”

Stena Line currently operates a fleet of 38 vessels and serves a total of 21 routes across Northern Europe.

The company previously invested in a new pilot boat in August last year, which is being deployed at Holyhead Port in Anglesey, Wales.

The boat was built by Holyhead Marine Services and is used by Stena Line for pilotage operations in and out of the port.