Netherlands-based naval architects C-Job, working in partnership with LH2 Europe, has designed a new class of liquid-hydrogen tanker that it claims will revolutionise the renewable energy market. According to the company, the new tanker concept will form a critical element in creating a green end-to-end liquid hydrogen supply chain.
‘Hydrogen will be essential to the future of energy. It is up to us how quickly we can make that happen,’ said Peter Wells, CEO of LH2 Europe. ‘This tanker design is a key step in providing the infrastructure to make that clean-energy future a reality. Current vessels in operation are not able to deliver hydrogen at the scale we expect will be required to meet the needs of the market.’
LH2 Europe plans to use the abundant renewable electricity in Scotland to produce green hydrogen and market it at a price that’s competitive with diesel. The new tanker will then transport the liquid hydrogen from Scotland to Germany. The tanker has enough onboard capacity to deliver fuel for 400,000 medium-sized hydrogen cars or 20,000 heavy trucks. In its current iteration, the tanker will deliver about 100 tonnes of hydrogen per day and gradually increase the delivery to 300 tonnes per day, depending on demand.
‘Liquid hydrogen provides unique challenges in ship design and engineering,’ said Job Volwater, CCO at C-Job. ‘As a comparison, LNG tankers use ballast water to compensate the loss of weight following delivery to ensure enough draft. As liquid hydrogen is high in volume but 20 times lighter than LNG, this required a unique solution. We have created a trapezium-shaped hull design that creates enough deck space to fit the tanks without the need for ballast.’
When completed, the liquid-hydrogen tanker will be 141 metres long and have a storage capacity of 37,500 cubic metres. The vessel will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and will be equipped with three liquid-hydrogen storage tanks. The tanks will have a much lower boil off than those currently used in the maritime industry. The limited remaining boil off will be captured and directly utilised in hydrogen fuel cells, providing power to the vessel’s propulsion systems, resulting in emissions of water only. The vessel itself will have zero greenhouse gas emissions during operations.
The ship is expected to be ready and commissioned six months before the first delivery of hydrogen in 2027.