One of Europe’s largest ferry route and port operators, Stena Line, said it has signed a new deal with U.K. port operator Peel Ports to operate its 12 Quays port and ferry terminal in Birkenhead until the beginning of the 22nd Century. The Swedish company has operated twice daily ferry services to Belfast since 2011 and this new deal will see them continue to operate there for at least another 77 years, until 2100.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
Stena Line operates six routes and 12 vessels across the region and Birkenhead has been a key focus for investment in recent years. In 2021 and 2022 Stena Line launched two new E-Flexer ferries on their Birkenhead to Belfast service, Stena Edda and Stena Embla. These brand-new state-of-the-art ferries increased passenger and freight capacity on the route to Belfast by a third.
Subsequently, Stena Line has made further investments with the recent purchase of two sites adjacent to the 12 Quays Terminal, to provide additional freight storage for its freight customers as they continue to expand their businesses there.
Niclas Martensson, CEO of Stena Line, said, “After 12 successful years in 12 Quays our business in Birkenhead continues to flourish year-after-year. This deal is a sign of our long-term commitment to Birkenhead and Peel Ports, with whom we have a very strong partnership. We will continue to make significant investments to increase our services to our customers across the Irish Sea.”
Carl-Johan Hellner, chief operating officer ports and terminals, said, “This deal signifies the strengthening of our partnership with Peel Ports. We have a long-term commitment to our Irish Sea customers, and together we will continue to provide value and to enable continued growth for their businesses here in Birkenhead and across this very important region for us.”
David Huck, chief operating officer at Peel Ports Group, said, “We have built a highly successful partnership with Stena Line over the years for the developing of services across the Irish Sea, and we are delighted this long-term agreement reaffirms our commitment to enable further investment into Birkenhead and the Mersey cluster.”