Höegh Autoliners has entered into a Letter of Intent with China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI), to build a series of its multi-fuel and ammonia-ready Aurora class vessels.

Through the terms of the LoI, the first two vessels will be delivered in the second half of 2024.

Höegh Autoliners maintains with its capacity to carry up to 9,100 cars it will be the world’s largest and most environmentally friendly car carrier to be built.

Since 2008, the company has achieved a reduced carbon intensity of 37% across its fleet and is ahead of the global IMO 2030-target of 40% reduction. The company’s ambition is to reach a net zero emissions target by 2040.

“We are excited to have secured delivery of the first Aurora class vessel already by 2024,” said Höegh Autoliners CEO, Andreas Enger.

“It will be the first Ammonia-ready vessel in its segment and the largest car carrier ever built. The Aurora class will bring cargo efficiency to a new level and put us in the forefront of sustainable shipping.”

China Merchant Industry has been expanding its shipbuilding business during the past two years and is now the largest Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) builder and the fourth largest shipbuilding group in China. China Merchant Industry owns Deltamarin, which has been tasked by Höegh Autoliners to design the new Aurora Class.

“We look forward to working together and providing Höegh Autoliners with these environmentally friendly PCTC vessels,” added CMHI GM, Mei Xianzhi.

CMHI is an enterprise wholly-owned by China Merchants Industry Holdings (CMI).

Headquartered in Hong Kong, CMI has several production and manufacturing bases in the Yangtze River economic zone, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Great Bay Area, Yangtze River Delta area, Bohai Bay, as well as subsidiaries and institutions abroad in Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Finland and Poland.

Höegh Autoliners is a global provider of RoRo transportation services delivering cars, as well as high and heavy and breakbulk cargoes across the world. The company operates around 40 RoRo vessels in global trade systems and makes about 3,000 port calls each year.

Höegh has its head office in Oslo, Norway and employs around 350 people in its 16 offices worldwide, as well as 1,300 seafarers.