World’s first liquid hydrogen carrier ship debuts in Japan

Bloomberg December 12 | Updated on December 12, 2019


The world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier made its official debut at a shipyard in Japan, a small step toward tapping the carbon-free energy potential of the lightest element.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd christened the tanker Suiso Frontier during a ceremony at the Kobe Works yard on Wednesday. The ship will be used for technology demonstration to establish an international hydrogen energy supply chain, Kawasaki said in a press release, by shipping the fuel from Australia to Japan. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2020.

Hydrogen can be produced using water and electricity, and then stored and shipped and re-used to generate power, allowing countries with little space for wind and solar equipment to still receive carbon-free power. It can also help de-carbonizse a range of sectors, from long-haul transport to steel-making, from which its otherwise difficult to remove emissions.

However, it is also volatile and flammable, while current production techniques are polluting and costly, the International Energy Agency said in a June report that touted the fuels potential. Policies and incentives should be put in place now to help reduce costs and scale up the sector, the agency recommended.

Published on December 12, 2019

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