Höegh Autoliners has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) (CMHI) for the construction of a series of its Aurora class vessels

According to the terms, the first two vessels in the multi-fuel and ammonia ready series will be delivered in the second half of 2024.

The Aurora class vessels come with DNV’s new ‘ammonia ready’ notation. This is said to make the vessels the first in the segment to be ready to operate on carbon-neutral ammonia.

With the capacity to carry up to 9,100 cars, this will be the largest and most environmentally friendly car vessel to be constructed, claimed Höegh Autoliners.

The company further stated that it has achieved a reduced carbon intensity of 37% across its fleet of ships since 2008, putting it ahead of the global International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2030-target of 40% carbon reduction.

The firm now aims to achieve a net-zero emissions target by 2040.

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By GlobalData

Höegh Autoliners CEO Andreas Enger said: “We are excited to have secured delivery of the first Aurora class vessel already by 2024. It will be the first ammonia ready vessel in its segment and the largest car carrier ever built. The Aurora class will bring cargo efficiency to a new level and put us in the forefront of sustainable shipping.”

The responsibility of designing the new Aurora Class has been given to Deltamarin, which is owned by China Merchant Industry, a leading shipbuilder in China.

CMHI general manager Mei Xianzhi said: “We look forward to working together and providing Höegh Autoliners with these state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly pure car/truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.”