Koreans target hydrogen standards

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), the holding company of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, has joined hands with class society Korean Register to develop international standards for hydrogen-fuelled ships and hydrogen carriers as South Korea’s largest shipbuilder looks to play catch up with this nascent ship type.

The two companies plan to jointly develop the hydrogen ship standards and submit it to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) next year.
KSOE and KR will review the conditions for the safe handling of hydrogen, such as ships’ gas storage and fuel supply systems and cargo handling systems.

KSOE subsidiary Hyundai Mipo obtained in October last year a class approval in principle for its 20,000 cu m liquefied hydrogen carrier design. The shipbuilder also recently joined forces with Ulsan City to develop cargo containment systems for eco-friendly fuels including LNG and hydrogen.

Earlier this week Hyundai Heavy revealed it is also developing ships capable of carrying CO2 and LPG at the same time as it rushes out new ship types to cater for the world’s changing fuel mix.

In neighbouring Japan, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier has just entered service. Built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the Suiso Frontier, has one, 1,250 cu m vacuum-insulated, Type C storage tank. The LH2 cargo is cooled to –253°C; at this temperature, hydrogen is at atmospheric pressure and occupies just 1/800 of its original vapour volume.

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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