Japanese corporation Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has been awarded approval in principle (AiP) by ClassNK for designing the world’s largest liquefied hydrogen carrier cargo containment system (CCS) of 40,000 cbm class per tank.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Large liquefied hydrogen carrier (image of 40,000 cbm × 4 tanks)
Courtesy of Kawasaki Heavy Industries

The CCS for which the AiP was obtained is designed to contain cryogenic liquefied hydrogen, reduced to a temperature of –253°C and one eight-hundredth its initial volume, for shipping by sea in large amounts.

This containment system is said to have the largest capacity of its kind worldwide used in liquefied hydrogen marine transport.

The CCS was developed using design, construction and safety technologies fostered through building of the Suiso Frontier, a pioneering liquefied hydrogen carrier built by Kawasaki that boasts a 1,250 cbm carrying capacity. In addition, the CCS utilizes a new type of insulation structure.

Further on, ClassNK has confirmed that KHI’s CCS satisfied the IGC Code and the IMO’s Interim Recommendations for Carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen in Bulk, also clearing HAZID risk assessment and class regulations.

The main features of the CCS are as follows:

  1. Enables transportation of cryogenic liquefied hydrogen in large amounts thanks to tank capacity on par with tanks used on large liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers;
  2. Utilizes an independent, self-supporting design with a structure capable of responding flexibly to thermal contraction that occurs when loading cryogenic liquefied hydrogen;
  3. Features a newly developed, high-performance heat insulation system that mitigates boil-off gas (BOG) which occurs in response to heat ingress;
  4. Designed to effectively utilize BOG as fuel to power the ship, thus contributing to reduced CO2 emissions from liquefied hydrogen transport operations.

Earlier on, the company has pulled out all the stops by forming a consortium with two other Japanese engine manufacturers, Yanmar Power Technology and Japan Engine Corporation, to develop hydrogen-fuelled marine engines and contribute to the Japanese shipbuilding industry.

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