Gdynia-Karlskrona ferry conversion
Stena Line 31,189 GT car and passenger ferry Stena Baltica (built as Koningen Beatrix in 1986) was converted by Gdansk Shiprepair Yard Remontowa SA, Gdansk, for Stena Line’s service between Karlskrona (Sweden) and Gdynia (Poland).
Growth on the Stena Line operated Gdynia-Karlskrona route has been very strong in recent years. Freight volumes have climbed by 36 per cent in the year prior to Stena Baltica conversion. During 2004 Stena Line carried 420 000 passengers, 65 000 personal cars and 62 400 freight units on his route. To live up to significantly increasing freight capacity demand for Karlskrona-Gdynia line, Stena Line decided to substantially invest in refit and renovation of Stena Baltica. New, upper level loading terminal ramps in Karlskrona and Gdynia, to speed up loading and unloading were built. Thanks to new link-span built in Port of Gdynia lorries can be loaded onto 2 decks simultaneously, further improving the efficiency of cargo handling system. The ferry had to be converted accordingly. The conversion also resulted with a large increase of the ferry's freight capacity. Public areas onboard were refurbished and redesigned with modern onboard concepts for bars, restaurants and cabins applied. The investment in the Stena Baltica amounted to SEK 235 million (USD 32.02 million) and was the largest single investment that Stena Line has ever made in refitting a vessel so far. Stena Baltica returned to Gdynia-Karlskrona route on June 5, 2005, after the thorough modernization in Remontowa SA. As many as 100 lorries or 400 cars can be now transported during one run between Gdynia and Karlskrona. Furthermore, Stena Baltica's cabins and decks gained new look, new restaurants and other attraction for passenger were brought in.
The conversion at Remontowa, among other tasks, called for installation of equipment designed by TTS Ships Equipment.
Existing cargo access equipment was converted and new equipment items added. Work onboard the Stena Baltica, when she was in Gdansk, included the following:
- lengthening of the existing stern ramps (port and starboard) by 1 m each, giving a new total length of 8.6 m;
- the installation of a new hydraulically-operated front bulkhead door, which is of top hinged design;
- installation of a hoistable car deck/ramp between Decks 5 on both the port and starboard side;
- installation of bulkhead doors between Decks 4 and 6, again on both port and starboard sides;
- conversion of the existing hydraulic and electrical systems to cater for the converted and new cargo access equipment.
All the converted items of equipment and new installations are under DNV Classification rules and also adhere to all the necessary SOLAS and international rules governing ferry operation.