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Enova grants $14m to Höegh ammonia car carrier project

Image: Hoegh Autoliners Hoegh-Autoliners-Aurora Class
Höegh Autoliners’ plan to make two of its Aurora class PCTCs run on ammonia has been backed a Norwegian Government environmental investment fund.

Enova, a fund owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, has granted NOK 73m ($7m) apiece to two vessels to enable the use of ammonia as a fuel. All 12 of the Aurora class Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTC) will have the ammonia-ready notation from DNV, and the Enova funding will help bridge the gap between ammonia ready and ammonia capable for two of the ships. 

The installation of an additional fuel tank to maintain range using the less energy-dense fuel and an ammonia engine are the main investments needed to move from the ammonia-ready LNG and low-sulfur fuel oil design of the Aurora class to operate on ammonia.

Director of Technology and Market Development in Enova, Astrid Lilliestråle, said: “We note that the shipping company aims to be at the forefront of adopting ammonia in ships and has ambitions to take measures to adapt to necessary changes and future requirements towards the low-emission society.”

Looking ahead to fuel supply, Höegh said it aims to use mostly mostly carbon-neutral ammonia as fuel for the vessels from their delivery, but that it could take some time before availability and price reach satisfactory levels. It expects a gradual ramp-up of green ammonia use from 2027.

The 99,100 ceu Aurora class vessels are being built at China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) with delivery dates starting in the second half of 2024 and two vessels due every six months thereafter.

“The support from Enova, together with our innovative multi-fuel vessel design, significantly helps derisking the choice of bringing the first zero-carbon vessels to our industry. The race towards decarbonizing the industry will take decades, not years. Nevertheless, no progress will be made without pioneering companies taking decisive steps to shape the future," said CEO of Höegh Autoliners, Andreas Enger.