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New ClassNk hydrogen carrier to enter service this month

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According to Reuters, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier could leave Japan for Australia to pick up its first cargo of hydrogen late this month though the return date has yet to be set due to COVID-19, Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries said on Friday last week.

The A$500 million ($353 million) pilot project, led by Kawasaki and backed by the Japanese and Australian governments, was originally scheduled to ship its first cargo of hydrogen extracted from brown coal in Australia in spring. It was delayed to the second half of Kawasaki’s financial year in October to March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Kawasaki spokesperson said the hydrogen carrier Suiso Frontier has been registered by ClassNK, giving it recognition that it complies with SOLAS and MARPOL standards.

The use of hydrogen is expected to expand worldwide, and efforts are being made to build a supply chain to realize a hydrogen society. Suiso Frontier is the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier built by KHI, a member of the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA).

Hydrogen is liquefied at an extremely low temperature of -253 degrees Celsius and has hazards such as flammability, permeability, and more. To contribute to the safe seaborne transportation of hydrogen, which needs intensive measures for handling, in 2017 ClassNK published the “Guidelines for Liquefied Hydrogen Carriers” describing the safety requirements based on the IMO’s Interim Recommendations for Carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen in Bulk.

For Suiso Frontier’s hull structure, machinery, onboard equipment and materials ClassNK completed the prescribed surveys on in line with its class rules and “Guidelines for Liquefied Hydrogen Carriers” and added the vessel to its register on 3 December 2021.

 

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