CB&I Receives Approval for Liquid Hydrogen Cargo Containment System For Gas Carriers From DNV

CB&I, McDermott’s storage business, has received Approval in Principle (AiP) for its design of a liquid hydrogen (LH2) cargo containment system from DNV, a leading classification society for shipping. CB&I collaborated with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (Shell) to provide safe LH2 shipping solutions that enable hydrogen energy supply chains.

The AiP confirms that the containment system aligns with applicable safety standards. These include class rules, the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), as well as the Interim Recommendations for Carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen in Bulk, Resolution MSC.420(97), issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Gas Carriers
Photo courtesy of Houlder Limited

A Hazard Identification (HAZID) risk assessment was carried out as an integral part of the AiP process to ensure that the hazards and uncertainties associated with the containment system were identified and dealt with.

“Through collaboration with Shell and DNV, we’re making large scale liquid hydrogen storage and transport more economical,” said Cesar Canals, Senior Vice President of CB&I. “This approval is a major milestone in making this groundbreaking technology available to all companies looking to build LH2 carriers, and we look forward to the possibilities this brings to advancing the hydrogen energy supply chain.”

Steve Brown, Technology Manager at Shell emphasizes: “This is an important milestone, resulting from a lot of hard work and collaboration between companies working at the forefront of innovation in this sector. To support the role of liquid hydrogen in the energy transition it is critical that we demonstrate its potential as a viable energy carrier with urgency and achieving this AiP is a significant step in the right direction.”

Ivar Håberg, Director of Approval, Ship Classification, DNV, said: “We are delighted to have been invited by CB&I to work on this AiP. Hydrogen, with its potential as an energy carrier and fuel, is likely to play a significant role in the energy transition. It is important for industries to confidently pursue new technologies while ensuring safety. An AiP serves to enhance this confidence by demonstrating the assessment of innovative solutions against established, independent and trusted standards.”

The containment system design is based on CB&I’s proven vacuum-insulated spherical technology for onshore LH2 storage. CB&I has designed and constructed more than 130 large, field-erected LH2 storage tanks worldwide over the past 60 years.

This experience provides the energy transition industry an economical, low-risk shipping solution with the best available time to market. CB&I expects the design to be scalable to 40,000 m3 per tank, with estimated boiloff rates less than 0.1% per day for small tanks and less than 0.05% per day for large tanks.

The combined cargo containment system and hull design effort aims to address the energy density challenge, benefitting from LH2’s properties and achieving more energy onboard. The cargo containment system was integrated into a concept vessel design developed by Houlder, which includes a hull that is optimized for the low-density cargo around the three large tanks.

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