First Large Commercial Hydrogen Carrier Developed

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 22, 2020

(Photo: LISCR)

(Photo: LISCR)

A design for the world’s first large liquefied hydrogen carrier has been granted approval in principle (AIP) from the classification society Korean Register and flag state Liberian Registry.

The 20,000 cubic meters class vessel was developed by Hyundai Heavy Industries Group and Hyundai Glovis in partnership with the Korean Register and the Liberian Registry, and HHI Group’s Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) announced they have received the AIP on Thursday.

Alfonso Castillero, Chief Operating Officer of the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR), said, “It is meaningful to participate in this joint industry project (JIP) of hydrogen carriers from the standpoint of a flag state with a long history and technical verification capability. As a flag state, our technical department has taken a very close look at the safety and regulatory aspects of the design and its implementation.”

The key elements of the JIP are the KSOE developed liquefied hydrogen cargo treatment system and a hydrogen boil off gas (BOG) treatment system using fuel cells. HMD advanced the basic design of the ship. Hyundai Glovis and G-Marine Service analyzed the economics and safety of liquefied hydrogen during storage and transportation.

This ship design uses of a double-structured vacuum insulated tank to improve insulation and minimize hydrogen BOG generated during operation. In addition, by adopting an electric propulsion system, hydrogen BOG can be used as fuel for fuel cells in the future.

In order to transport a large amount of hydrogen by ship, a liquefaction process that reduces the volume to 1/800 and increases stability is essential. Since hydrogen liquefies at a cryogenic temperature of -253°C, which is lower than LNG that liquefies at -163°C, a liquefied hydrogen carrier needs advanced cryogenic technology to stably preserve it.

According to the ‘Hydrogen, Scaling Up’ Report released in 2017 by the Hydrogen Council, the global hydrogen market is expected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2050, accounting for 18% of the total energy demand. Accordingly, the Korean government also announced the 'Road Map for Activating the Hydrogen Economy' last year, and is spurring the revitalization of the hydrogen economy in various industries such as shipbuilding, automobiles and batteries.

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