CB&I gains DNV AiP for LH2 cargo containment system

Written by Nick Blenkey
LH2 cargo containment system in ship

CB&I's LH2 cargo containment system was integrated into a concept vessel design developed for Shell by Houlder, which includes a hull that is optimized around three large CB&I tanks. [Image: Houlder Limited]

Hydrogen is seen as one of the keys to the energy transition, creating a need for safe liquid hydrogen LH2 shipping solutions. Now, McDermott’s storage business, CB&I, has received Approval in Principle (AiP) for its design of a liquid hydrogen (LH2) cargo containment system from DNV.

CB&I collaborated on the containment system with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited, for whom Houlder Limited recently developed a concept design for a 20,000 cubic meter LH2 carrier.

The AiP now granted CB&I by DNV confirms that the containment system aligns with applicable safety standards. These include class rules, the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), as well as the Interim Recommendations for Carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen in Bulk, Resolution MSC.420(97), issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). A Hazard Identification (HAZID) risk assessment was carried out as an integral part of the AiP process to ensure that the hazards and uncertainties associated with the containment system were identified and dealt with.

“Through collaboration with Shell and DNV, we’re making large scale liquid hydrogen storage and transport more economical,” said Cesar Canals, senior vice president of CB&I. “This approval is a major milestone in making this groundbreaking technology available to all companies looking to build LH2 carriers, and we look forward to the possibilities this brings to advancing the hydrogen energy supply chain.”

“This is an important milestone, resulting from a lot of hard work and collaboration between companies working at the forefront of innovation in this sector,” said Steve Brown, technology manager at Shell. “To support the role of liquid hydrogen in the energy transition it is critical that we demonstrate its potential as a viable energy carrier with urgency and achieving this AiP is a significant step in the right direction.”

“We are delighted to have been invited by CB&I to work on this AiP,” said Ivar Håberg, director of approval, ship classification at DNV. “Hydrogen, with its potential as an energy carrier and fuel, is likely to play a significant role in the energy transition. It is important for industries to confidently pursue new technologies while ensuring safety. An AiP serves to enhance this confidence by demonstrating the assessment of innovative solutions against established, independent and trusted standards.”

As we’ve noted before, CB&I knows a thing or two about hydrogen through its work on building giant hydrogen storage spheres for NASA and the LH2 cargo containment system design covered by the AIP is based on CB&I’s proven vacuum-insulated spherical technology for onshore LH2 storage.

CB&I has designed and constructed more than 130 large, field-erected LH2 storage tanks worldwide over the past 60 years. It says that this experience provides the energy transition industry an economical, low-risk shipping solution with the best available time to market. CB&I expects its LH2 cargo contaiment design to be scalable to 40,000 cubic meters per tank, with estimated boil-off rates less than 0.1% per day for small tanks and less than 0.05% per day for large tanks. The combined cargo containment system and hull design effort aims to address the energy density challenge, benefitting from LH2’s properties and achieving more energy onboard.

The cargo containment system was integrated into the concept vessel design developed by Houlder, which includes a hull that is optimized around three large LH2 tanks.

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