Höegh Autoliners gets closer to using ammonia in newbuildings

The shipping company Höegh Autoliners is making progress in its efforts to run its new Aurora-class PCTCs on ammonia. A subsidy is to reduce the costs.

The Norwegian Energy Agency Enova has now granted the company funding of almost $14 million (NOK 146 million) to use the alternative fuel for two Aurora-class vessels. [ds_preview]

Höegh Autoliners has ordered a total of twelve Aurora-class vessels so far. The ships transport rolling cargo such as cars, agricultural machinery and mining equipment. All twelve ships are equipped with engines that can run on LNG and low-sulphur oil and are already certified as “ammonia-ready” by the classification society DNV.

The use of ammonia as a fuel requires the installation of an ammonia engine and an additional tank to ensure sufficient range.
Therefore, Höegh Autoliners has applied for financing from Enova for two of the twelve confirmed Aurora vessels in order to reduce the additional costs of this solution compared to a vessel that is only ammonia-ready.

Höegh Autoliners receives first ammonia engines from MAN

Höegh Autoliners has become one of the first shipping companies in the world to secure access to the first four ammonia two-stroke engines to be supplied by MAN. According to the shipping company, its aim is to use predominantly carbon-neutral ammonia as fuel from when the ships enter service. “It is expected that it may take some time for the availability and price to reach a satisfactory level, with a gradual increase expected from 2027,” it says.

These vessels are expected to significantly contribute to the company’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2040. With a capacity of up to 9,100 cars, the Aurora-class vessels are set to be the world’s largest and most environmentally friendly car carriers. As mentioned at the beginning, the car carrier shipping company has currently ordered twelve units of the Aurora class, but there are options for eight more ships from China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) (CMHI). Delivery of the first of the twelve ships is scheduled for July 2024.

In May 2023, Höegh Autoliners entered into a partnership with the Norwegian Grieg-Arendals joint venture North Ammonia to secure access to ammonia as a marine fuel. The shipping company aims to use at least 100,000 tons of the fuel in its fleet by 2030.

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