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Australia and Japan developing safety standards for marine transport of liquid hydrogen; KHI building carrier

Australia and Japan recently signed a memorandum at the headquarters of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which will allow liquid hydrogen (LH2) to be shipped in bulk for the first time. Ship containment systems are being developed in Japan that will be capable of safely transporting liquid hydrogen in bulk from Australia to Japan as part of a pilot project scheduled to commence in 2020.

Bulk gas cargoes are carried under the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) which is a mandatory code under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. The IGC code does not currently allow for the transportation of liquid hydrogen.

Cargoes not covered by the code can be carried if there is an agreement between relevant nations—the flag State of the ship, port of loading and port of unloading—and changes are developed to the code and taken to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for approval.

Australia worked with Japan to develop interim carriage requirements for the transportation of liquid hydrogen in bulk from Australia to Japan. These were agreed to at the IMO Maritime Safety Committee in November 2016.

The interim carriage requirements specify the construction standards of containment vessels for liquid hydrogen carriers, and mitigate the safety risks associated with transporting the liquid hydrogen via sea.

The interim carriage requirements are a critical milestone in the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Project and will allow the pilot project to proceed in 2020. The memorandum signing was a key element in this process, and an important step forward for Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), which is building the pilot project’s liquid hydrogen carrier in partnership with Shell.

Kawasaki is currently developing a prototype LH2 carrier; the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 2,500 m3, equivalent to that of coastal trading LNG vessels. (Earlier post.) Kawasaki obtained approval in principle from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) for the cargo containment system in 2013. Kawasaki aims to develop a large liquefied hydrogen carrier with a capacity of around 160,000 m3.

The pilot project between Australia and Japan will inform future amendments to the IGC Code which will allow liquid hydrogen to be carried in bulk under the code without any special agreements.



And just where and how do they think this hydrogen is going to be made?


"Kawasaki aims to develop a large liquefied hydrogen carrier with a capacity of around 160,000 m3."

This should provide the opportunity for an exciting accident. I did the calculations a few years ago for the amount of energy stored in the new large LNG tankers and came up with about a megaton TNT equivalent. You would not get a detonation but you might get a fireball with enough radiant energy to ignite any wood frame building in a 10 mile radius. It has not happened yet but given the number of shipping accidents, it probably will. There was an accident a few years ago where a LNG t-boned a smaller lumber carrier. See



The inside understanding of extractive industries is that it doesn't matter if these projects never eventuate or have any chane of success.
The monies are spent and the proponents get their cut.
Taxpayers or investors lose.
This is yet another example of topsy turvey land where academics and scientists are accused by financiers and flip it quick merchants' lobbyists of inventing fake problems and uneccessary studies to obtain funding.

To protect investments that appear inevitably to end badly.

Carbon capture trials[edit]
A two-year pilot trial of a algae photobioreactor was undertaken at Hazelwood in the early 2000s by Energetix, a division of the Victor Smorgon Group. The apparatus housed algae that feed on emissions from the smoke stacks, which were then harvested and turned into biofuels. The technology Hazelwood used was developed at MIT and was licensed from Greenfuels. The trial was successful and has now concluded. However, the technology was not found to be commercially viable and was not pursued further.
In July 2009 International Power opened a carbon capture and storage demonstration plant at Hazelwood. The process takes emissions from the power station smoke stacks, extracts CO2 and uses a chemical process to turn it into calcium carbonate. The resulting solid can then be stored above ground or sold to industry. The trial facility captures 25 tonnes or 0.05% of daily emissions from the plant, with the possibility to scale up to 50 tonnes per day.[39]

You asked.

My thoughts were that aiming for bulk liquid H2 may provide some useful new supply chain insights.
Establishing certification makes sense when the technology is otherwise uncertain.
It draws in supporters and workers that together beat the drum louder.

But the thought of extractive hydrogen should horrify readers on this site with any understanding of the reality surrounding CCS.

Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Development
$300,000 FUNDING
Submitted by HRL Developments Pty Ltd in association with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Limited. Project participant HRL Technology Pty Ltd.
Hydrogen produced from the gasification of brown coal, linked with carbon capture and storage technology, can provide a valuable energy source with low CO2 emissions. This project will examine the process design and key infrastructure requirements for hydrogen production at both the pilot and commercial-scale using both commercially available and new technologies. The market potential for the product will be examined and the cost effectiveness of the process will be assessed against alternative means of production.

Development of Chemical Looping Process for Fuels Production and CO2 Capture from Victorian Brown Coals
$605,000 FUNDING
Submitted by Monash University in association with TRUenergy; CSIRO Process Science and Engineering and leading European universities engaged in chemical looping research – Chalmers University of Technology Gothenburg, Sweden and Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.
This is the first known study of chemical looping combustion and gasification of Victorian brown coal as an emerging alternate technology for the capture of CO2 at a lower energy and cost penalty. Chemical looping has been widely studied for the combustion of natural gas but research into its potential application for solid fuels commenced only recently. Utilising metal oxides as a major source of oxidising agent, rather than concentrated gaseous oxygen from air separation plants, the technology removes the energy and capital costs of air separation plants. It is believed the low ash content, high reactivity and high oxygen content of Victorian brown coal is particularly suited to chemical looping and the process also has the potential to advance value-added brown coal technologies such as low-emissions hydrogen production.


Thank you Arnold for some insights into some of the fossil fuel conversion projects in answer to my tongue in cheek question.
I do suspect they are planning to locally pollute our air by use of fossil fuels to produce H2 for shipment to Japan.
Then again I could be wrong and they are planning to make use of our natural assets and will be producing it from water and renewable energy.....hmmm?


Iceland has an aluminum plant because they have geothermal electricity. They could take the carbon dioxide out of the geothermal then make synthetic natural gas, DME, methanol, gasoline, kerosene or diesel.


I would suggest that as H2 has similar transportation requirements.
LH2 cryogenic -252oC
LNG Cryogenic -162oC
It is conceivable that dual purpose vessels are planned to cover multiple scenarios.

The following cut and pastes from various show LNG shipping expansion.

"The transition of the Australian
economy from the mining investment
boom to broader-based growth is well

"More than $200 billion has been invested in Australia’s LNG projects in the past

"Following $200bn of investment in LNG over the past decade, Australia is expected to overtake Qatar as the world’s biggest exporter of the chilled gas from 2018."

"Australia's liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are expected to reach almost 60 million tonnes in 2017, up by 63% year-on-year, according to a monthly report by energy"

"East coast households are facing gas bill hikes of more than 50 per cent over the next few years as Gladstone’s big new export plants continue to suck up gas from the southern states in the face of lower than expected Queensland coal-seam gas supply, according to ­National Australia Bank forecasts to be released today."


H2 is basically one of the cleanest transportable energy and has great potential to progressively replace current fossil fuels.

Extracting, transporting and distributing H2 will be one of the large near high growth future industry.

Ways can be found to do it with less negative effets on the environment than current fossil fuels industries.

Eventually, low cost REs will be used to produce clean low cost H2 near or at distribution/storage points.

Large trucks, buses, passenger trains, ships, utility vehicles, drones, aircraft and many other vehicles will run on H2.

Asian countries may lead for a while to curb current high pollution and to compensate for lack of other clean energy sources.

The Japan/Australia H venture is one of many ways to do it. Other sources (from Norway-Canada etc) will be developed.

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