HD Hyundai Unveils a New R&D Center for Green Ship Technology

An LCO2 carrier design for Capital Maritime (HD Hyundai)
An LCO2 carrier design for Capital Maritime (HD Hyundai)

Published Apr 7, 2024 6:16 PM by The Maritime Executive


The South Korean shipbuilding giant HD Korea Shipbuilding& Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) has announced the launch of a new research and development facility dedicated for maritime decarbonization. The Marine Innovative R&D facility will be based at the HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) yard in Ulsan.

While KSOE has existing R&D setups for green technologies, they primarily focus on testing specific functions such as supply of LNG fuel to ships. However, the new facility is designed to simulate and test wide ranging processes including the full sequence of shipboard cargo operations - loading, ship operations, unloading - and technologies that could reduce carbon emissions.

This comprehensive approach will allow KSOE to predict performance of certain technologies from a land-based setting even before getting installed on actual ships. According to KSOE, this will improve safety and reliability of the new ship types using green technologies.

“As environmental regulations continue to tighten, the development of various technologies is under way, making it important to ensure their reliability. HD KSOE aims to utilize this new facility to pre-validate eco-friendly equipment to be installed in ships,” said an official from HD KSOE.

Among the first assignments of the new facility will be to test the performance of reliquefaction equipment for liquefied carbon dioxide carriers (LCO2). Reliquefaction reduces emissions and ensures that more of the cargo arrives at its destination.

HD Hyundai is currently building two of the world’s largest LCO2 carriers as part of an order the company received last year from Greek shipowner Capital Maritime Group. The two 22,000 cubic meter carriers are scheduled for delivery next year.

In addition, the R&D facility will also test a technology for producing dry ice in ship cargo holds, a function that could significantly improve transportation of perishable goods.

Meanwhile, KSOE said it aims to expand the range of green technologies and ship types tested at this facility by 2026. These include new propulsion systems for vessels such as ammonia and methanol-fueled ships, as well as hybrid electric systems.