Image credit Höegh Autoliners

Engine roar and ammonia tanks soar: Höegh Autoliners’ reveals construction progress on its inaugural Aurora PCTC

Norwegian RoRo shipping company Höegh Autoliners announced the arrival of the main engine for the first car carrier vessel of its Aurora Class newbuilds.

Image credit Höegh Autoliners

The engine, produced in Ulsan, South Korea, has completed its journey to the China Merchants Heavy Industry shipyard in Jiangsu, China, setting the stage for its integration into the inaugural Aurora PCTC vessel.

The installation of the engine is scheduled for December 5, according to the company.

The MAN engine is capable of running on alternative fuels. Namely, the multi-fuel engine can run on marine gas oil (MGO) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), and with modifications, can transition to use ammonia or methanol.

As such, the vessels will have DNV’s ammonia and methanol-ready notation.

“Our Aurora new building program is most definitely at full speed, and we are still en route to the first Aurora delivery next summer,” the company said.

Designed to accommodate up to 9,100 cars, the Aurora class vessels will have the ability to operate on zero-carbon ammonia, making them the first of their kind in the PCTC segment.

The engine delivery is being revealed on the back of the installation of the first DNV-approved LNG/ammonia tank. The 3,400 m3 capacity stainless steel tank was lifted onboard and installed on Höegh Autoliners´first Aurora class newbuild at the beginning of November.

Image credit Höegh Autoliners

“Tasks were carried out under the supervision of TGE Marine engineers and shipyard specialists. Reports from the shipyard in China indicate that everything proceeded smoothly and according to plan,” the company said.

The installation of the ships’ most expensive single component represents another concrete step on our path to decarbonization of our customers’ supply chains and will accelerate a push towards net zero shipping.

Image credit Höegh Autoliners

The LNG/ammonia tanks are ready to store ammonia, the company said, adding that with ‘an easy coating’, the tanks will be able to store methanol.

We consider clean ammonia a future maritime fuel with high potential that will contribute to solving the greenhouse gas emission challenges associated with global maritime transportation,” says the COO of Höegh Autoliners, Sebjørn Dahl.

With the recently lifted options, the company has twelve multi-fuel and net zero carbon-ready Aurora class vessels on order. Höegh Autoliners has the option to build another four vessels (vessels 13-16) as well as slot reservations for an additional four vessels (vessels 17-20).

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The first two ships from the series are expected to be delivered in H2 of 2024.

The company pointed out that it was working on training programs for its seafarers intended for the operation of its future ammonia-fuelled vessels.

Höegh Autoliners has committed to powering at least 5% of its deep-sea operations with green ammonia by 2030. The goal is to run its fleet on at least 100,000 metric tons of green ammonia by that same year.

The Norwegian shipowner has already entered into a deal with green energy provider North Ammonia for the supply, distribution, delivery, and consumption of green ammonia intended for its Aurora class ships.

Most recently, the RORO major recently partnered with Yara Clean Ammonia, the world’s largest ammonia distributor, for a future supply deal for clean ammonia.