THE FIRST of a class of PCTCs claimed as the largest, most environmentally-friendly deep sea vessel of the type ever built has hit the water in China.

Höegh Aurora, the name ship of the class, was floated out of drydock at the weekend in what Höegh Autoliners describes as a sustainability milestone and a concrete step on the company’s path towards net zero.

With its 9,100 CEU (car equivalent unit) capacity, the Aurora Class will be the first in its segment to be able to operate on zero carbon ammonia and is set to transform the deep sea shipping segment. The Auroras will be the first in the PCTC segment to receive DNV’s ammonia and methanol-ready notations with the main engine provided by MAN and the bridge system supplied by Kongsberg Maritime.

The first Aurora will be delivered this coming northern summer and will begin commercial service right after its naming ceremony in early August. Two of the class are due for completion every six months.

“We believe it’s possible to achieve net-zero deep-sea shipping by 2027, and we are showcasing this commitment to the world and our industry through our Aurora Class project,” Höegh said.

Höegh Autoliners is represented in Australia by Seaway Agencies.