Fri, Dec 13, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Liquid-hydrogen carrier unveiled


The world’s first carrier of liquefied hydrogen made its official debut at a shipyard in Japan, a small step toward tapping the carbon-free energy potential of the lightest element.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd christened the diesel-powered Suiso Frontier at a ceremony at the Kobe Works yard on Wednesday.

The ship is to be used for technology demonstration to establish an international hydrogen energy supply chain by shipping the fuel from Australia to Japan, Kawasaki said in a press release.

Construction is expected to be completed by late next year.

Hydrogen can be produced using water and electricity, and then stored and shipped to generate power, allowing countries with little space for wind and solar equipment to still receive carbon-free power. It can also help decarbonize a range of sectors, from long-haul transport to steelmaking, from which it is otherwise difficult to remove emissions.

However, it is also volatile and flammable, while current production techniques are polluting and costly, the International Energy Agency said in a report in June.

The ship will have storage capacity of about 1,250m3, less than 1 percent of the size of liquefied natural gas carriers.

The vacuum-insulated, double-shell tank is to hold hydrogen chilled to minus-253°C, which shrinks the volume of the gas to 1/800th of its normal volume.

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