Design for 22,000-cubic-meter liquefied hydrogen carrier gets AIP

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Design has received Approval in Principle from both the Liberian Registry as flag state and Korean Register as the class society.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, Hyundai Glovis, the Liberian Registry, the Korean Register and their partners have successfully developed what they say is the world’s first large size and commercially viable liquefied hydrogen carrier.

An Approval in Principle (AIP) for the 22,000-cubic-meter design has been awarded to HHI Group’s Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) by the Liberian Registry as flag state and Korean Register as the class society.

“It is meaningful to participate in this joint industry project (JIP) of hydrogen carriers from the standpoint of a flag State with a long history and technical verification capability,” said Alfonso Castillero, Chief Operating Officer of the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry. “As a flag state, our technical department has taken a very close look at the safety and regulatory aspects of the design and its implementation. We are very pleased to be working with these wonderful partners on this, and we appreciate the wonderful cooperation with HHI Group, Hyundai Glovis, KR and the entire team.”

The key elements of this ground breaking Joint Industry Project are the KSOE developed liquefied hydrogen cargo treatment system and a hydrogen boil off gas (BOG) treatment system using fuel cells.

HMD advanced the basic design of the ship. Hyundai Glovis and G-Marine Service analyzed the economics and safety of liquefied hydrogen during storage and transportation.

This ship design is characterized by the use of a double-structured vacuum insulated tank to improve insulation and minimize hydrogen BOG generated during operation. In addition, by adopting an electric propulsion system, hydrogen BOG can be used as fuel for fuel cells in the future.

In order to transport a large amount of hydrogen by ship, a liquefaction process that reduces the volume to 1/800 and increases stability is essential. Since hydrogen liquefies at a cryogenic temperature of -253°C, which is lower than that for LNG, which liquefies at -163°C, a liquefied hydrogen carrier needs advanced cryogenic technology to stably preserve it.

“We will actively pioneer overseas large-capacity hydrogen transportation market based on advanced technology,” said a Hyundai Heavy Industries Group official.

According to the “Hydrogen, Scailing Up” report released in 2017 by the Hydrogen Council, the global hydrogen market is expected to grow to $2.5 trillion by 2050, accounting for 18% of total world energy demand.

The South Korean government released a “Road Map for Activating the Hydrogen Economy” last year, and is spurring the revitalization of the hydrogen economy in various industries such as shipbuilding, automobiles and batteries.

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