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Höegh Orders World’s Largest Ammonia-Ready Car Carriers

world's largest car carriers will be ammonia-ready
Hoegh ordered four with options for up to eight more of the ammonia-ready car carriers (Hoegh)

Published Jan 20, 2022 3:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

Höegh Autoliners entered into a construction contract with China Merchants Heavy Industry confirming its plans to move forward with a new generation of vessels that will be the world’s largest and most sustainable car carriers. The vessels will have seven percent greater capacity than the company’s largest vessels and will be able to convert operate on ammonia in the future.

Under the terms of the contract, Höegh ordered four of the new Aurora class vessels with two of the vessels due for delivery in the second half of 2024 and two in the first half of 2025. The company also has two options each for four additional vessels. The company had entered into a Letter of Intent with CMHI in October 2021 for the construction of the new class of vessels. Previously, in the spring of 2021 Höegh said that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry, that it said would make it possible to have the first vessel delivered by the end of 2023.

Leif O. Høegh, Höegh Autoliners Chair said, “The collaboration with China Merchants Industry represents a breakthrough in reaching our ambitious net-zero emissions target by 2040. The innovative design of the zero-carbon ready Aurora class will enable our customers to decarbonize their supply chain.”

Höegh was working with MAN and in the spring of 2021 said that with the selected MAN B&W engine, the new class of vessels would be able to operate on various fuel types. After modifications of the engine, tank, and auxiliary systems, the engine they said would be ready to run on virtually any future zero carbon emission fuels.

When delivered, the vessel’s multi-fuel engine will run on marine gas oil (MGO) and LNG. With modifications, the company now says the vessels can transition to use future zero-carbon fuels including ammonia or methanol. The Aurora class will have DNV’s ammonia and methanol ready notation.

The Aurora class is also designed to reflect the future trends in that industry able to transport the cargo of the future. The vessel’s strengthened decks and enhanced internal ramp systems will enable Electric Vehicles on all decks and provide more flexibility for heavier project cargo.

Høegh’s current largest class of vessels is the 76,400 gross ton New Horizon class that began with the Höegh Target and her sister ships introduced in 2015 and 2016. Built by Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries in China, they are a series of Post Panamax vessels each 656 feet in length. With its deck space of 71,400 square meters and carrying capacity of 8,500 car equivalent units, the class became the world’s largest Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTC).