Hoegh Autoliners places order for four more LNG PCTCs in China

Hoegh Autoliners said it has entered into a contract with China Merchants Heavy Industry in Jiangsu for four additional multi-fuel PCTCs that can run on LNG.

This order follows the contract from January for four firm and eight optional Aurora class vessels.

According to a statement by the Norway-based PCTC owner, the new deal has the same terms as for the first four vessels.

Hoegh Autoliners now has eight firm LNG multi-fuel PCTCs with the capacity to carry up to 9,100 cars on order at the Chinese yard.

In addition, Hoegh Autoliners has also eight optional ships on order as it has agreed with the yard on four more vessels on top of the twelve revealed in January.

Hoegh Autoliners said the additional four vessels would be in the form of slot reservations on market terms until end of December 2022 and a first right of refusal on four slots until the end of July 2023.

The company retains its existing option on vessel 9-12 until end July 2023 and vessel 13-16 would be for 2026 and 2027 delivery, should the company pursue this acceleration opportunity, it said.

“Great interest” from credit providers

“The Aurora class vessels have attracted great interest from credit providers and Hoegh Autoliners’ intention is to finance the vessels by a combination of equity and debt,” the firm said.

Hoegh Autoliners is exploring several sources for credit and expects to conclude the financing “well ahead” of the delivery of the vessels.

It did not reveal the price tag of the deal. VesselsValue data shows that the firm would pay about $98 million per ship for the first four PCTCs.

The vessel’s multi-fuel engine can run on LNG or marine gas oil (MGO).

Also, the Aurora class will have DNV’s ammonia and methanol ready notation, with main engine provided by MAN and bridge system supplied by Kongsberg. Deltamarin designed the ships.

Hoegh Autoliners claims the ships would be the world’s largest such vessels but also the first in the PCTC segment to operate on “zero carbon” fuels.

The company expects delivery of two Aurora vessels every six months starting from the second half of 2024.

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