HÖEGH Autoliners has secured a second grant from the Norwegian Government’s green investment fund, Enova, that will see the third batch of its pioneering Aurora Class PCTCs able to operate fully on ammonia.

The company has a total of 12 Aurora Class vessels on order, with the first, Höegh Aurora, currently undergoing sea trials and expected to be delivered in 45 days’ time.

The first eight Aurora Class vessels will run on LNG, but are designed to be converted to run on ammonia. The ammonia engine technology will be ready in 2026, allowing Höegh to build the last four vessels to run on ammonia from the start. These vessels will be delivered in 2027 and will be groundbreaking, becoming the world’s first emission-free vessels in the PCTC/ro-ro segment.

In March this year, Höegh was granted NOK 146 million in Enova funding for two Aurora Class vessels to reduce the additional cost of this solution compared to a vessel that would be “ammonia ready”. Now Enova has granted a further NOK 109.4 million as part of its “Ammonia fuelled vessel programme” to ensure that four of Höegh Autoliners’ Aurora Class vessels can run fully on ammonia when they enter service. The company will in total receive NOK 255.4 million in Enova funding.

The funding is part of the largest ever Enova funding round supporting the green maritime transition. The purpose of the funding is to establish the first functioning value chains for ammonia and hydrogen for maritime purposes.

Höegh Autoliners CEO Andreas Enger said the company was taking leadership by actively collaborating with a wide range of highly qualified and dedicated suppliers to make clean ammonia viable as a zero-emission shipping fuel.

“We believe it is important for shipping companies to send a clear signal to the rest of the value chain that the technology can be realized in a short time and that there will be demand for carbon-neutral fuel. Almost all Höegh Autoliners vessels sail under the Norwegian flag and have significant Norwegian content from the Norwegian cluster,” Mr Enger said.

“The support from Enova, together with our innovative multi-fuel vessel design, significantly helps de-risking the choice of bringing the first zero-carbon vessels to our industry.”

The Aurora Class vessels will significantly contribute to the company’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2040. Höegh Autoliners, as one of the first and few shipping companies globally, has secured access to the first ammonia 2-stroke engines delivered by MAN.