C-Job Naval Architects and LH2 Europe have designed a brand new class of liquid hydrogen tanker. The vessel will be 141 metres long and has a storage capacity of 37,500 cubic metres. The concept is said to be a critical element in realising a green end-to-end liquid hydrogen supply chain.

LH2 Europe will use the abundant renewable electricity in Scotland to produce green hydrogen and market it at a competitive price with diesel. The new tanker will transport the liquid hydrogen to terminals in Germany, with a strategic vision to expand supply to other markets as demand increases.

‘Hydrogen will be essential to the future of energy. It is up to us how quickly we can make that happen. LH2 Europe aims to have a full liquid hydrogen supply chain ready by 2027,’ says Dr. Peter Wells, CEO of LH2 Europe, which is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. ‘We plan to initially deliver 100 tonnes per day (t/d) of green hydrogen and ramp up production to 300 t/d within three years, depending on demand.’

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Delivering hydrogen at a larger scale

The vessel is powered by hydrogen fuel cells and will be equipped with three liquid hydrogen storage tanks with total capacity of 37,500 m3, which is enough to refuel 400,000 medium-sized hydrogen cars or 20,000 heavy trucks.

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.

Job Volwater, CCO at Dutch naval architecture company C-Job, says: ‘Liquid hydrogen provides unique challenges in ship design and engineering. As a comparison, LNG tankers use ballast water to compensate the loss of weight following delivery to ensure enough draught. As liquid hydrogen is high in volume but twenty times lighter than LNG, this required a unique solution. We have created a trapezium-shaped hull design which creates enough deck space to fit the tanks without the need for ballast.’

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Wells adds: ‘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.’

The ship is expected to be ready and commissioned six months before the first delivery of hydrogen in 2027.

Vessel specifications

  • Vessel type: liquid hydrogen tanker
  • Length overall: 141.75 m
  • Rule length: 135.75 m
  • Breadth: 34.90 m
  • Depth: 8.75 m
  • Draught design: 5.80 m
  • Installed power: 5,000 kWe
  • Speed: 14 knots
  • Accommodation: 14 crew
  • Cargo tank capacity: 3 x 12,500 m3