Following last week’s International Investment Conference, Belfast will be centre stage once again this week with leading ferry company Stena Line hosting a 3 day international business conference at the ICC Belfast, starting today (Sept 21st).
Over 260 delegates will attend the annual Stena Sphere Forum which brings together senior executives from Stena Line’s three parent companies Stena AB, Stena Metal AB and Stena Sessan AB which operate on a global basis in industries as diverse as shipping, recycling, finance, property and environmental services.
Stena AB employs over 16,000 people across Europe, which includes approx. 2,500 on its seven Irish Sea ferry routes. Stena Line moved to Belfast in 1995 and since then, Belfast has established itself as Stena Line’s largest European business hub.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Care for each other and the future’ and will include a keynote address from Stena AB owner and CEO Dan Stena Olsson, who has invested heavily in Northern Ireland over the last 28 years.
Paul Grant, Stena Line Trade Director (Irish Sea) said: “We’re delighted to bring senior colleagues from other Stena Sphere companies to Belfast to highlight our development and the exciting journey Northern Ireland is on.
“Our Belfast hub has grown rapidly and today we now operate seven ships on three routes from Belfast Port. The commitment from Stena Line over the last 28 years to Northern Ireland has been unwavering as has their financial support for our Irish Sea routes with more than £500m of investment in state-of-the-art ships and port facilities over the last decade alone, servicing growing freight and tourism demands.
“This commitment is exemplified with Stena Line’s recent confirmation of the constructing of two new bespoke freight ferries for the Belfast-Heysham freight service, which will increase freight capacity on the route by approx. 80%. The ‘NewMax’ vessels, the first of which is due to enter service on the route in autumn 2025 will also be able to operate on methanol fuel, an important development in Stena Line’s future sustainability commitment.”
The Stena Sphere Forum starts on Thurs Sept 21st at the ICC in Belfast and includes a visit to Titanic Belfast and Gala Dinner in Belfast City Hall.