Norwegian shipowner Hoegh Autoliners is accelerating towards zero carbon emissions with a planned order for the world’s largest car carrier, which will also have a multi-fuel propulsion system, with an eye towards low-carbon alternative fuels.
The ‘Aurora’ class vessel is expected to carry 9100 cars (car equivalent units – CEU*) and will initially run on conventional and biofuels, as well as LNG.
The company said the ship will also be prepared for future zero-emission fuels such as “green ammonia”, which will involve “minor modifications”.
Hoegh Autoliners has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with long-term partner Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry, a Chinese shipyard, to bring the vessel into service by the end of 2023.
The shipowner promises that it will be the most environmentally friendly car carrier ever built.
Hoegh Autoliners boasts of its “solid history of emissions reductions and long-term efforts to combat climate change”. Since 2008, the fleet’s carbon emissions have reportedly fallen by 37%. By 2040, Hoegh Autoliners aims to achieve net zero emissions.
The company added that the Aurora is designed to transport “the cargo of the future”. The ship’s reinforced decks and improved internal ramp system is designed to allow electric vehicles to move on all decks and provide greater flexibility for heavier investment cargoes.
With a multi-fuel engine and the new DNV ‘ammonia-ready’ notation, Hoegh Autoliners brings the market segment and the work to decarbonise the maritime industry to a new level,” – Hans Eivind Siewers, director of passenger and ro-ro vessels at classification society DNV, said.
The vessel will be notated as Class +1A, Car Carrier, MCDK, ICE C, E0, NAUT-OC, CLEAN DESIGN, BWM-T, TMON, BIS, COAT PSPC (B), GAS FUELLED, BATTERY (safety), F(C), Recyclable, SHORE POWER, Gas ready Ammonia (D, S, MEc, T) and is expected to be the first among car carriers to be ready to run on carbon neutral ammonia.
Kjeld Aabo, director of new technologies at MAN Energy Solutions, said that after modifications to the engine, fuel tanks and other systems, the new Hoegh Autoliners vessel will be ready to run on virtually any future carbon-free fuel, including ammonia.
In turn, Janne Uotila, CEO of ship design and consulting firm Deltamarin, said that ammonia storage was included in the design.
The cooperation with Hoegh has always been excellent and it has been our privilege to work with innovative, responsible and forward-looking professionals who know their craft very well, – said a representative of the company responsible for designing the ‘Aurora’ class car carrier.