World’s first ammonia-powered PCTCs get financial boost

Norwegian RoRo shipping company Höegh Autoliners has been granted a substantial million-dollar Enova funding for the construction of the world’s first ammonia-powered pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs).

Höegh Autoliners

As informed, the company received almost NOK 146 million ($14 million) from Enova, a Norwegian government enterprise responsible for the promotion of environmentally friendly production, to use alternative and climate-friendly fuel for two of the ships.

Höegh Autoliners has a total of twelve ships of Aurora class on order. All twelve vessels have been designed with engines that run on liquefied natural gas and low-sulphur oil, as well as “ammonia ready” notification from DNV. 

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The ships will be built at China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI). The construction of the first vessel started back in March 2023.

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The first Aurora-class vessel is scheduled for delivery as early as July 2024, while the second Aurora vessel is also anticipated to be delivered ahead of schedule, with an expected arrival in September next year.

To use ammonia as fuel, the installation of an ammonia engine and additional tank is required, among other things, to maintain sufficient range. Höegh Autoliners has therefore applied for Enova support to reduce the additional cost of this solution.

“…The shipping company will be one of the spearheads that uses ammonia in ships, and has ambitions to take measures to adapt to the necessary changes and later requirements that will come towards the low-emission society,” Director of Technology and Market Development at Enova, Astrid Lilliestråle, said.

“Establishing functional value chains for ammonia as a fuel in shipping is crucial to pave the way to a low-emission industry that contributes to reducing maritime emissions. At Höegh Autoliners we see no alternative to a net-zero future. Everything we do is about reaching our goal of exactly that in 2040,” according to Höegh Autoliners.

Höegh Autoliners 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.

“The support from Enova, together with our innovative multi-fuel vessel design, significantly helps derisking the choice of bringing the first zero-carbon vessels to our industry. The race towards decarbonizing the industry will take decades, not years. Nevertheless, no progress will be made without pioneering companies taking decisive steps to shape the future,” CEO of Höegh Autoliners Andreas Enger concluded.