The world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, built to ship large quantities cryogenically frozen H2 internationally, was launched by Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) at it's Kobe Works yard.
The Suiso Frontier (‘suiso’ means ‘hydrogen’ in Japanese) will play a key role in the Shell-backed HySTRA demonstration project (CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-Chain Technology Research Association), which will see large quantities of H2 produced from brown coal in Australia and then shipped 9,000km to the city of Kobe in Japan.
This vessel was developed to provide a means of transporting liquefied hydrogen at 1/800 of its original gas-state volume, cooled to –253°C, safely and in large quantities over long distances by sea.
Kawasaki plans to install a 1,250 m3 vacuum-insulated, double-shell-structure liquefied hydrogen storage tank, currently being manufactured at Harima Works, on the ship and complete the vessel's construction by late 2020.
Once complete, the SUISO FRONTIER will be used for technology demonstration testing in Japanese FY 2020 aimed at the establishment of an international hydrogen energy supply chain in which liquefied hydrogen produced in Australia will be shipped to Japan.
Hydrogen is gaining popularity as a key next-generation energy source to combat global warming. It does not emit CO2 or other greenhouse gases during use, and expected applications include power generation, fuel cell vehicles and more.
Kawasaki is pursuing this hydrogen business as part of its efforts toward sustainable development goals (SDGs), carrying out development projects in every phase including production, storage, transportation, and utilization.
In 1981, Kawasaki became the first Asian company to manufacture a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, and now as the world's first company to complete a liquefied hydrogen carrier it will further its efforts toward achieving a Hydrogen Society.