Source: The Lloyd ‘s Register, 23th October 2020


Picture: The Lloyd’s Register

The launch of the first LH2 tanker heralds a new era for the bulk carrying of non-hydrocarbon gases. SIGTTO’s Andrew Clifton assesses the challenges and the vital role of classification societies for the pioneering vessels to come.

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The world is rapidly decarbonising; the process is happening a lot quicker than previously envisaged. So, it is quite likely we will see members of SIGTTO (The Society of International Tanker and Terminal Operators) in the near future carrying non-hydrocarbon gases in bulk such as liquid hydrogen (LH2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) as cargo onboard purpose‑built vessels.

We therefore noted with great interest the launch of the world’s first ever liquid hydrogen tanker just before Christmas 2019 in Kobe, Japan.

The Suiso Frontier is designed to transport liquefied hydrogen (Suiso being the Japanese for hydrogen). The LH2 cargo is cooled to –253°C; at this temperature, hydrogen is at atmospheric pressure and occupies just 1/800 of its original vapour volume. Suiso Frontier has one, 1250m3 vacuum-insulated, Type C storage tank and is on schedule for delivery in late 2020. Once operational, Suiso Frontier will transport LH2 from Australia to Japan.

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