An approval in principle (AiP) has been granted for a 20,000-m3 liquefied hydrogen carrier developed by South Korea’s HHI Group’s Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and shipping and logistics company Hyundai Glovis
This liquid hydrogen carrier has 16 times the capacity of Suiso Frontier, a 1,250-m3 liquid hydrogen carrier being built in Japan. Launched at Kawasaki Heavy Industries in December 2019, Suiso Frontier is expected to transport liquid hydrogen produced in Australia from coal gas to Japan starting in Q1 2021.
Hydrogen must be cooled to -253°C to be liquefied, requiring special tanks, handling and loading systems. It is seen as a promising alternative fuel in the global clean energy transition because it produces no CO2 when burned.
The AiP for this liquefied hydrogen carrier advances a joint development project signed by Korean Register (KR) with the Hyundai Group. Together with its ship management subsidiary G Marine Service, Hyundai Glovis analysed a range of safety factors such as ship size, engine driving method, and hydrogen gas treatment methods and reflected the findings in the final design.
Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering developed the liquefied hydrogen cargo handling system and a hydrogen evaporation gas treatment system based on fuel cells, while Hyundai Mipo Dockyard has drawn up the basic design for the ship.
Finally, KR granted AiP after verifying the conformity of this basic design to international standards and classification rules. At the same time, the Liberian flag state also awarded the design AiP.
There are currently no cases of mass production or design certification of large hydrogen carriers worldwide.