HÖEGH Autoliners is looking into the supply of ammonia as a bunker fuel for the company’s upcoming Aurora Class fleet.

Höegh signed a letter of intent with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation to explore the supply and delivery of ammonia at the ports of Singapore and Jacksonville, US from 2027 onwards.

The twelve Aurora Class PCTC vessels would be able to run on ammonia or methanol. Two ships are slated for delivery every six months from the second half of 2024.

Höegh and Sumitomo hope to stimulate supply and demand of clean ammonia as a marine fuel, having launched a range of initiatives throughout the ammonia value chain.

In the future, the companies intend to evaluate the compatibility between the PCTC vessels and the ammonia bunkering facilities at the identified bunker ports.

They plan to make necessary adjustments to specifications for both shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship bunkering operations.

They also plan to undertake safety assessments to establish standardised operational protocols and regulations in close coordination with pertinent government agencies.

Höegh Autoliners CEO Andreas Enger said the commitment with Sumitomo was a strong strategic move in Höegh’s efforts to offer net-zero transportation globally.

“Pioneering net-zero transportation on ammonia-powered vessels places us at the forefront of the international shipping industry, and we take pride in collaborating with Sumitomo Corporation to achieve this significant milestone.”

And Koji Endo, general manager of Sumitomo’s energy division, said there is “a compelling need” for organisations to work together to reach emission reduction targets.

“Our collaboration with Höegh Autoliners embodies this commitment and is geared towards being a trailblazer and facilitator of the global maritime decarbonisation effort,” he said.

“While the adoption of electric vehicles is important for greening land transportation systems worldwide, it is equally important to address the decarbonisation of the maritime transportation process used to deliver these vehicles from the production facilities to their destinations.

“In this context, Sumitomo Corporation supports Höegh Autoliners by exploring the potential to provide clean ammonia as a bunker fuel for their modern vessels at strategic port locations.”

Höegh and Sumitomo are working with the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Höegh as a mission ambassador and Sumitomo as a strategic partner and advisory board member.

“We applaud Sumitomo Corporation and Höegh Autoliners on their landmark agreement to pursue the use of clean ammonia as a bunker fuel from 2027 onwards,” Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center CEO Bo Cerup-Simonsen said.