MOL, KSOE, Hyundai Glovis and Woodside to Jointly Pursue Hydrogen Shipping

hydrogen carrier concept
HD Hyundai is developing the designs as part of the study to create a hydrogen supply chain in Asia ( HD KSOE)

Published Feb 14, 2024 8:06 PM by The Maritime Executive


The effort to develop large hydrogen carriers able to support a future supply chain will take another step forward as Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines reports it will join an ongoing effort to design and build the first large dedicated hydrogen carrier. South Korean shipbuilding HD Korean Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering has previously reported progress in its efforts to Hyundai Glovis as the shipper and Australia’s Woodside Energy as the producer to develop the steps for a hydrogen export supply chain.

The four companies report they have entered into a non-binding memorandum that calls for a joint study for the efforts to develop shipping solutions to enable bulk marine transport of liquid hydrogen. They point out that liquid transport is more practical because it takes up about 1/800th of the volume of hydrogen gas. The challenge however is that maintaining liquification requires -253 degrees C. Hydrogen however is non-toxic and would be safe to transport in large volumes.

They plan to study the technology, safety, construction, operation, and economics of large-volume hydrogen transport. The project which first launched in 2022 focused on the Asian supply chain using an 80,000 cbm tank capacity.  They report the target is to have a vessel built and in operation by 2030.

KSOE previously reported that it has made good initial progress in the design of a large-capacity hydrogen carrier. They received Approval in Principle from DNV for the design in September 2023. KSOE reports it developed dual-fuel hydrogen engines which along with fuel cells would power the vessel. Adopting concepts from other gas carriers, they also look to employ boil-off gas for the propulsion system.

The vision for the supply chain calls for the carriers to be designed and built by KSOE to transport large volumes of hydrogen. Woodside is focused on the production of hydrogen as well as the storing, loading, and discharging in ports. MOL and Hyundai Glovis would provide input on the vessel design, including logistics, propulsion, storage, and cargo handling while reviewing the feasibility of the design.