Kawasaki’s liquefied hydrogen carrier departs to pick up first cargo
27 December 2021
Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ Suiso Frontier, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, has left Japan to pick up its first hydrogen cargo in Australia. A return to Japan is expected around late February.
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. The vessel can carry 75 tonnes of liquefied hydrogen in one trip.
Supply chain demonstration framework
The Suiso Frontier received a classification from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), recognizing that it complies with International Maritime Organization（IMO) standards, in early December.
With the goal of making hydrogen just as common a fuel source as petroleum and natural gas, Kawasaki joined together in 2016 with Iwatani Corporation (Iwatani), Shell Japan Limited, and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER) to form the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA).
This organization has, with the support of NEDO, been pursuing technological development aimed at building an energy supply chain enabling economical and reliable sourcing of hydrogen in large volumes. In addition to this latest liquefied hydrogen carrier, a liquefied hydrogen unloading terminal is being built in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, and a brown coal gasification facility is being constructed in Australia.
In addition, a consortium comprising Kawasaki, Iwatani and J-POWER along with Marubeni Corporation and AGL Loy Yang Pty Ltd, was formed in 2018 and has received financial support from the Australian and Victorian governments to build a gas refining facility, hydrogen liquefaction & loading terminal and more.
What an incredibly non-environmental and energy wasteful solution. First they make hydrogen using the worst possible solution, gasification of brown or low energy coal, then land transportation of compressed gas. Next it is liquefied and transported 9000 km by ship 75 tonnes at a time. I assume that they are, at least, using boiled off hydrogen as fuel for the ship but maybe they have found a worse solution.
Posted by: sd | 27 December 2021 at 10:59 AM
Make hydrogen where you use it
Posted by: SJC | 27 December 2021 at 01:24 PM
Today brown coal, tomorrow Solar for hydrogen. It is FAR cleaner to gasify coal to make H2 and sequester all the CO2 and the very-highly polluting coal ash underground. Thus, coal gasification can be as green as renewables.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 27 December 2021 at 05:21 PM
LOL! The lamest Greenwashing.
Posted by: dursun | 27 December 2021 at 06:03 PM
Like so much else some shades of grey.
All the previous comments are 100% true even if seen as somewhat contradictory.
Globally business is not interested in other coloured H2 than green. The only consensus as understood from the many interested and potential international customers is that it must come as 'green H2 and that means certified renewable energy electrolysis. There are many milestones on the path to synchronicity and transport by sea is just one. with this shipment being a worlds first attempt ,the only rationale that could make any sense is as an experimental trial for possible future 'green hydrogen exports.
There is certainly a lot of proposals and preliminary investigation at this stage when the technology direction is very fluid. This first small 75 ton shipment while barely a drop in a bucket is some years away for green H2.
While there are still a few FF company owned politicians - or national economies- and career business lobbyists (esp disappointingly in the U.S.) that still believe in CCS etc.
It is hard to know the true motives behind the choice of the scheduled to close in 2030-2047 heavily polluting brown coal Loy Yang power station site but safe to say some logistics knowledge will result. The site is of course as can be seen was chosen as the .au trial site for geological CCS.
Posted by: Arnold Garnsey | 28 December 2021 at 03:51 AM
I'll keep my critic short and to the point. Absolutely ludicrous!
Posted by: yoatmon | 28 December 2021 at 07:31 AM
Crucial question: what powers this boat? If it's not hydrogen, it seems pointless. If each shipment delivers less energy than it consumes to make a round trip, it's worse than useless.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 28 December 2021 at 08:08 PM
I wondered the same thing. Maybe this is just a demonstration that you can transport liquid H2 but it is certainly an energy inefficient enterprise. It would be more efficient to transport the coal to a site near where the hydrogen would be used. Doing this would at least avoid the boil off of the H2 during transport. I did not see anything about carbon sequestration in the article. Anyway carbon capture and sequestration seems to mostly be a fossil fuel scam.
Posted by: sd | 30 December 2021 at 09:15 AM
The article suggests that CCS will be used:
Back to you.That assumes that you have someplace to sequester the CO2 at the receiving end. That may very well not be the case for this producer/consumer pair.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 30 December 2021 at 02:34 PM