Höegh Autoliners use option to add four more Aurora class RoRo vessels
Transportation services provided Höegh Autoliners has exercised the option to construct additional four new multi-fuel and net zero carbon ready Aurora class RoRo vessels.
The company said it will have the option to convert one or more of these vessels to ammonia propulsion as soon as the technology is available. This brings the number of total vessels under the newbuilding program to twelve vessels, all of which will be built by China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) (CMHI).
The first of the 12 vessels are scheduled to be delivered in July 2024. The company has an option to build another four vessels (vessels 13-16), as well as slot reservations for additional four vessels (vessels 17-20).
Ammonia and methanol-ready RoRos
The Aurora vessels will have DNV’s ammonia and methanol ready notation, with main engine provided by MAN and bridge system supplied by Kongsberg. The vessels will be the first in the PCTC segment able to operate on zero-carbon fuels. Together with the capacity to carry up to 9,100 cars, the Aurora class will be the world’s largest and most environmentally friendly car carrier, according to the company.
The company has also reached an agreement with CMHI that allows it to accelerate its green fleet renewal program from 12 to 16 Aurora vessels.
The Aurora-class vessels have attracted significant interest from credit providers, and the company will finance the newbuilds by a combination of equity (cash) from own operation and debt. Höegh Autoliners is actively exploring various financing alternatives and anticipates having committed financing in place before year end.