European design for a 37,500 cu m liquefied hydrogen carrier unveiled

With yards in Asia jostling to bring out larger hydrogen carrier designs to make the nascent seaborne trade more mainstream, a European designer has thrown its hat into the mix with a very different looking concept vessel.

C-Job Naval Architects has unveiled a new class of liquid hydrogen tanker, developed in partnership with LH2 Europe, capable of moving 30 times as much cargoes as the Susio Frontier, the only existing ship in this niche segment.

The vessel is powered by hydrogen fuel cells and will be equipped with three 12,500 cu m liquid hydrogen storage tanks with a total capacity of 37,500 cu m. The tanks will have a much lower boil off than those currently used in the maritime industry, C-Job claimed today. The limited remaining boil off will be captured and directly utilised in hydrogen fuel cells, providing power to the vessel’s propulsion systems, resulting in emissions of water only. The vessel itself will have zero greenhouse gas emissions during operations.

LH2 Europe plans to use renewable electricity in Scotland to produce green hydrogen and market it at a competitive price with diesel. The new tanker will transport the liquid hydrogen to terminals in Germany, with a strategic vision to expand supply to other markets as demand increases.

A first ship is expected to be ready and commissioned six months before the first delivery of hydrogen in 2027.

“Hydrogen will be essential to the future of energy. It is up to us how quickly we can make that happen. LH2 Europe aims to have a full liquid hydrogen supply chain ready by 2027,” said Dr Peter Wells, CEO of LH2 Europe. “We plan to initially deliver 100 tons per day of green hydrogen and ramp up production to 300 within three years, depending on demand.”

Current vessels in operation are not able to deliver hydrogen at the scale LH2 Europe expects will be required to meet the needs of the market.

C-Job’s 141 m long ship design features a trapezium-shaped hull design which creates enough deck space to fit the tanks without the need for ballast.

The Japanese pioneers of the liquefied hydrogen seaborne trades have come up with an enlarged design to propel the nascent shipping segment into the mainstream.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has unveiled a 160,000 cu m liquefied hydrogen carrier design, with a view to getting one built in the second half of this decade. The new design features four 40,000 cu m tanks.

The news follows on from this year’s first commercial trip of the 1,250 cu m Suiso Frontier, Kawasaki Heavy’s – and the world’s – first liquefied hydrogen carrier, which has started hauling cargoes from Victoria in Australia to a specially commissioned hydrogen terminal in Kobe, Japan. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project turns coal and biomass feed stock from Victoria into LH2, chilled to minus 253C and liquified to less than 800 times its gaseous volume.

Shipyards in South Korea are also working to bring their own hydrogen carrier designs to market with many designs expected to be on display at Posidonia, the major shipping exhibition in Athens, which Splash is sponsoring.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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