Video: World’s First Hydrogen Carrier Departs Japan on Maiden Voyage 

first hydrogen carrier departs on maiden voyage
Suiso Frontier departing Japan on December 24 (Kawasaki)

Published Dec 27, 2021 3:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries released a video showing the world’s first vessel able to transport large volumes of hydrogen departing on its maiden voyage after receiving classification certificates. Built as a demonstration of the technologies, Kawasaki says it expects to build additional hydrogen carriers to develop this new segment of the shipping industry.
Launched in 2019, the Suiso Frontier is a 380-foot-long vessel developed to provide a means of transporting liquefied hydrogen at 1/800 of its original gas-state volume. To transport large volumes of hydrogen over long distances it is cooled to –253°C. Kawasaki installed a specially manufactured 1,250 m3 (44,143 cubic feet) vacuum-insulated, double-shell-structure liquefied hydrogen storage tank. The capacity equates to transporting 75 tons of liquefied hydrogen on each voyage.

The vessel uses diesel-electric propulsion with a top speed of 13 knots. It is operated by a crew of 25 and registered at 7,800 gross tons or 2,200 dwt. She is owned by the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA) as part of a larger project developed in Japan and Australia to demonstrate the commercial potential of importing hydrogen. Among the participants in the project are Kawasaki, Shell Japan, Iwatani Corporation, and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER), and it received funding from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) along with support from Australia.



The project calls for, in addition to the vessel, a liquefied hydrogen unloading terminal built in Kobe City, Japan, and a brown coal gasification facility is being constructed in Australia.

The Suiso Frontier was inspected for its hull structure, machinery, onboard equipment and materials, and more, in accordance with its class rules and the requirements for the safe transport of hydrogen by sea, formulated by ClassNK, based on the provisional recommendations of IMO. The vessel was then added to ClassNK’s register on December 3.

After departing Japan on December 24, the Suiso Frontier is expected to reach Australia in mid-January after a two-week trip.