Stena Line, Victoria Terminal 4
Stena Ferry Terminal
Work has begun on a new £35m Stena fast ferry terminal at the Port of Belfast and the facility is due to open in time for the summer 2008 season. The 35,000 sq ft development is being built on a 32 acre site of reclaimed land close to Fortwilliam two miles downstream from the existing terminal at Donegall Quay. Because it is nearer to the open sea, the facility will enable the HSS and conventional ferries to cut their journey time to Scotland. Changes are afoot at Loch Ryan too, where Stena is planning to move out of Stranraer to new terminal beside the P&O facility at Cairnryan. Gunnar Blomdahl, Stena’s global chief executive officer, who was in Belfast for today’s announcement, said the Irish Sea was one of the company’s fastest growing markets. “Together with the proposed new facility in Cairnryan, the new Belfast Terminal will reduce travel time by 20 minutes and allow Stena Line to provide additional sailings,” he said. Lea O’Hagan, chairman of Belfast Harbour Commissioners, said the £35m investment, which did not involve any taxpayers’ money, was the biggest ever undertaken by the port. He said “Eight years ago the Port began reclaiming part of Belfast Lough with millions of tonnes of stone and sand, creating a site that will bring allow Stena to relocate it Belfast operation nearer to Scotland. “By ensuring that local importers and exporters can access the global market more quickly and more often, today’s investment will improve the competitiveness of the Northern Ireland economy.” As part of the scheme, the Harbour Commissioners are funding the construction of a new dual carriageway link road from the M2 at Fortwilliam to the Harbour Estate.