Höegh Autoliners: progress on Aurora Class vessel

Tanks, engines delivered to shipyard in China

The DNV-approved, LNG/ammonia fuel tank being prepared for installation on the first Aurora Class vessel. Source: Höegh Autoliners.
Click to learn more. The DNV-approved, LNG/ammonia fuel tank being prepared for installation on the first Aurora Class vessel. Source: Höegh Autoliners.

Höegh expects the first pair of ammonia-powered car carriers to be delivered late next year from China Merchants Heavy Industry at the Jiangsu Shipyard in China. This month, a new LNG/ammonia tank was installed in the first of the vessels. Höegh reports that the 3,400 m3 stainless steel tank will receive an additional coating to allow it to store methanol, allowing the Aurora Class vessel to run on conventional, ammonia and methanol fuels. DNV has approved the tank, with the vessel to receive both an ammonia and methanol-ready notation from the classification society.

The first MAN ES engine arrives in China, to be installed on the Aurora Class vessel. Source: Höegh Autoliners LinkedIn.
Click to learn more. The first MAN ES engine arrives in China, to be installed on the Aurora Class vessel. Source: Höegh Autoliners LinkedIn.

Via the organisation’s LinkedIn, it was also announced that MAN ES engines have arrived at the shipyard from Korea, with installation to take place in early December. MAN is in the process of developing a retrofit package for its two-stroke engines to run on ammonia and other alternative fuels, targeting a 2025 release date. The retrofits will build on the existing engine design, adding a new cylinder head to enable combustion of the desired alternative fuel, plus connections to auxiliary systems required to ensure safe operations.

The announcement also notes that seafarer safety & crew training is a priority. “Establishing a stable cohort of seafarers” prior to the launch of the first vessels has obvious benefits, and will enable the transfer of knowledge & operational experience seamlessly to the crews of future Aurora Class vessels.

At Höegh Autoliners we have a strong commitment to continue to discover environmentally sustainable solutions. 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.

COO of Höegh Autoliners, Sebjørn Dahl in his organisation’s official press release, 17 Nov 2023

Partnership with Yara

Höegh has also partnered with Yara Clean Ammonia to develop a future supply of ammonia fuel for the Aurora Class vessels, although further details have yet to emerge. A similar partnership for fuel supply was reached with Norway-based North Ammonia this May.

This is exactly the type of collaboration that will accelerate a push towards net zero shipping in the deep-sea segment of the industry. For Höegh Autoliners, this represents another step towards full decarbonization of our customers’ supply chains, and we are pleased to collaborate with a strong Norwegian global player to meet this goal.

Andreas Enger, CEO of Höegh Autoliners in Yara’s official press release, 2 Nov 2023
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