The world’s first liquefied hydrogen (LH2) carrier Suiso Frontier has set her sail from Japan to pick up the first cargo in Australia. The voyage is a part of a “Demonstration Project for Establishment of Mass Hydrogen Marine Transportation Supply Chain Derived from Unused Brown Coal” between two countries.
Overcoming the delay of picking the first cargo earlier in spring this year due to the pandemic, Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) finally operates Suiso Frontier on the right pathway. It greatly reflects the strong will of both the Japanese and Australian governments, supporting the growth of liquefied hydrogen (LH2) as fuel.
The governments have supported the $362 million pilot project.
Liquefied hydrogen (LH2) carrier
Hydrogen is a green, clean, efficient, and renewable energy source. Hydrogen is a high potential method to reach zero emission for the shipping industry.
The 8,000 tonnes Suiso Frontier can transport large quantities of LH2 over long distances by sea. Here, the liquefied hydrogen is at 1/800 of its original gas-state volume, cooled to –253°C. The vessel is geared up with a diesel-electric propulsion system and can achieve a speed of 13.0 knots. The vessel is classified into Class NK.
This LH2 carrier is constructed in line with the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA). Furthermore, KHI has completed Kobe LH2 Terminal (Hy touch Kobe), marking it the world’s first liquefied hydrogen receiving terminal.
KHI, Iwatani, Shell, and Electric Power Development united under HySTRA to promote hydrogen as a fuel source.
According to Reuters, the LH2 carrier left Japan on 24 December to pick up the first cargo and will return in late February.
Kobe LH2 Terminal “Hy touch Kobe”
The terminal facilitates a 2,500 m3 volume spherical liquefied hydrogen storage tank which specialized in reducing heat transfer. The terminal features a loading arm system specially designed for transferring liquefied hydrogen between land-based facilities and ships.
The tank features a double-shell vacuum-insulation structure, comprising inner and outer shells with a vacuum-sealed layer in between to prevent heat transfer from the outside. It enables long-period storage of cryogenic liquefied hydrogen reduced to a temperature of -253°C and 1/800 of its original gas-state volume.
The terminal achieved successful operation testing in January this year, ensuring the good performance of insulation of the spherical tanks.
“Kawasaki will utilize liquefied hydrogen storage tank technologies developed through this project to pursue even larger-sized tanks in the future, with the aim of realizing the high-volume hydrogen transport technologies necessary to achieve a hydrogen society,” the company said.
KHI has depicted the “Hydrogen Road”, paving the way for a hydrogen-based society. You can view the “Production”, “Transporation”, “Storage”, and “Utilization”, the whole process to achieve the carbon-free goal from KHI.