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Korea and EU to Jointly Develop Large Liquid Hydrogen Cargo Tanks

hydrogen tank development
Hyundai for the first time will join with Europeans in an EU-funded project to develop large hydrogen tanks (file photo)

Published Jun 8, 2023 5:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

HD Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is joining a first-of-its-kind research project that involves both the South Korean shipbuilder and leading European institutions and they will be working on the first large-scale hydrogen cargo tanks. It is part of an agreement between the European Union and South Korea that seeks to increase participation in new technology research and coordinate the efforts.

 The research project was selected by the EU’s Horizon Europe program which seeks to support the development of innovative technologies. Hyundai also highlights that it is participating through its newly launched HD European Research Center that opened in Germany.

The shipbuilder looks to expand on its experience as the world’s leading builder of large-scale gas carriers. HD highlights its accumulated design experience having won the largest number of orders for gas carriers and its current large order backlog in the sector. 

Units of the South Korean company have already been working on different elements of tank design which they look to expand on in the effort for the hydrogen tank. Today, the Nor-Shipping Korean Register (KR) awarded an Approval in Principle (AIP) for a new type of tank shape designed by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries to improve safety and productivity for various liquefied gases and fuels. The new tank shape aims to address the challenge of sloshing that impacts the transportation of liquefied gases, such as LNG. HD HHI reports it has successfully optimized the shape of the liquefied gas tank, effectively reducing the sloshing effect and enhancing stability for the vessel.  They plan to expand the application of the new tanks to various liquefied gas carriers and propulsion ships. 

The new research consortium involving the South Korean and European institutions looks to develop a 160,000 cubic meter liquified hydrogen cargo tank. They expect to invest a total of €10 million in the research over the next four years.

The consortium consists of a total of 14 organizations. In addition to the global classification society ABS, engineering companies such as HYDRUS and TWI, and leading institutions with recognized capabilities in design, production, performance, and risk assessment, including the Technical University of Dresden and the Technical University of Athens, will participate in this effort.

The development of the large-scale tank will play a critical role they believe as efforts continue seeking to develop hydrogen as a leading alternative energy source. The shipbuilder believes this research project can help to establish the global standards required for the development of the hydrogen ecosystem.

Independent of this new research effort, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering highlights that it also received DNV classification certification last September for a hydrogen carrier system using the Himsen engine. It plans to develop a complete hydrogen engine by 2025 to the establishment of a hydrogen ecosystem.