China Merchants Heavy Industry in Jiangsu has launched the first LNG dual-fuel pure car and truck carrier it is building for Norway-based Hoegh Autoliners.
According to Hoegh Autoliners, the first of its 12 Aurora Class vessels touched water for the first time and floated out of dry-dock this weekend.
The firm will take delivery of Hoegh Aurora this coming summer.
Hoegh Autoliners expects the LNG-powered vessel with the capacity to carry up to 9,100 cars to start commercial operation right after its naming ceremony in the beginning of August.
CMHI (Jiangsu) started building this vessel in March last year.
In January 2022, Hoegh Autoliners entered into a contract with the shipbuilder for four PCTCs that can run on LNG.
After that, the PCTC owner ordered four additional vessels in April 2022 and four vessels in July 2023.
A spokeswoman for Hoegh Autoliners previously told LNG Prime that the four newest vessels will run on LNG and conventional fuel until ammonia technology is ready.
“If the ammonia engine is ready when we make the motor decision, we can install ammonia + conventional fuel engine on one or several of the no. 9-12 vessels being built,” she said.
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).
The Aurora class will have DNV’s ammonia and methanol ready notation.
TGE Marine, a part of Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, will supply fuel gas systems and associated multi-fuel gas tanks for the LNG-powered PCTCs.
Finland-based Deltamarin, a part of China Merchants Group, designed the new Aurora class vessels.