Worldʼs First Liquefied Hydrogen Vessel Voyage Completed In Japan

A ceremony to mark the completion of the worldʼs first maritime transport of liquefied hydrogen, including its loading and unloading has been held in Kobe, Japan. The demonstration voyage by the worldʼs first liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier, proved that an international liquefied hydrogen supply chain is possible, marking a significant step toward the utilization of hydrogen as a new energy source.

The HySTRA (*1) joint venture, comprising Iwatani Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Shell Japan Ltd., Electric Power Development Co., Ltd.(J-POWER), Marubeni Corporation, ENEOS Corporation, and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. with support from NEDO (*2), is exploring the development of a large-scale marine transport supply chain.

The joint venture developed technologies to produce and transport large volumes of liquefied hydrogen, conducting demonstration tests between Japan and Australia to establish processes around the safe loading, offloading and storage of hydrogen. Insights from the demonstration voyage will also guide the development of international safety standards and codes for transporting liquefied hydrogen.

ceremony photo
Image Credits: kawasaki.com

Suiso Frontier, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, departed Japan in December 2021 and arrived in Australia in January 2022. The ship was loaded with liquefied hydrogen produced from coal in Victoria, Australia, and returned to Japan in February 2022, unloading the cargo to a landside storage tank.

The HySTRA joint venture partners will continue to gather data and findings, and collaborate with various parties to promote this project and contribute to the development of a commercial hydrogen supply chain, as more industries explore hydrogen as a new energy source.

hystra company structure

The project had input from Japanese and Australian government agencies, including the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and NEDO, and companies in Japan and Australia.

Japan-Australia deal

*1: An abbreviation of the Japan CO2 Free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association. The company was established by Iwatani, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Shell Japan and J-POWER to establish and demonstrate technologies for hydrogen production using Victorian coal, transportation and storage for the commercialization of a CO2-free hydrogen supply chain. Marubeni Corporation, ENEOS Corporation, and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha joined the project later.

*2: New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization

(Reference: kawasaki.com)
In Australia, Iwatani Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group, J-POWER Group, Marubeni Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, and AGL Energy Limited formed a consortium to build a gas refining facility, hydrogen liquefaction and loading terminal with subsidies from the Australian and Victorian governments. A local industrial gas company oversees ground transportation of hydrogen.

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