World’s First Ship for Compressed Hydrogen Transport to Be Powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells

GEV will first operate a pilot version of the compressed hydrogen ship 6 photos
Photo: Global Energy Ventures
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Hydrogen is one of today’s buzzwords when it comes to green transportation. It’s not just a question of producing it though, but also of delivering it across the world, which is why marine transport solutions are particularly important. This innovative vessel is not only based on an ingenious design for carrying a larger amount of hydrogen, but it also aims to be emissions-free itself.
A couple of years ago, Kawasaki together with other Japanese companies developed what was then considered the first ship in the world to transport liquid hydrogen internationally. The problem was not only that the vessel itself was running on diesel, but also that the liquid hydrogen was obtained from coal, through a process that generated tons of CO2.

Since then, the debate over “green hydrogen” versus standard one, and over sustainable shipping, has only intensified, and it looks like better alternatives are now available. One of them is another premiere, the world’s first zero-carbon ship for compressed hydrogen transportation.

Developed by Global Energy Ventures (GEV), this ship boasts an innovative tank design, meant to store ambient temperature hydrogen, at an operating pressure of 250 bar. It’s designed to carry green hydrogen, as compressed hydrogen (C-H2), Liquefied Hydrogen (LH2), and Ammonia (NH3), with a cargo capacity of 2,204 tons (2,000 metric tons).

GEV partnered with Ballard Power Systems and Wartsila, to equip the vessel with dual fuel (natural gas and hydrogen) engines, coupled to two electric drive fixed pitch propellers. The goal is to eventually power the ship with 100% hydrogen fuel cells, for a zero-carbon shipping vessel.

The hydrogen carrier’s developer recently received approval from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to develop and operate a pilot version, with a 474-ton (430 metric tons) capacity. The smaller, pilot ship will be used to deliver green hydrogen from Australia to Asia Pacific markets, in collaboration with HyEnergy in Western Australia. A previous study confirmed that compression is the best way to commercialize hydrogen, for transport distances of up to 4,500 nautical miles.

The full-scale compressed hydrogen shipping vessel is expected to obtain final approvals in 2022. By incorporating megawatt-scale hydrogen fuel cell systems, it will become the world’s first zero-carbon ship to carry compressed green hydrogen.

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 Download: GEV receives milestone ABS approval for compressed hydrogen ship (PDF)

About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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