LH2 bunkering vessel design. Image Credit: Moss Maritime / Equinor / Wilhelmsen / DNV-GL
Following plenty of debate on the shipping industry's need to adopt alternative fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen to meet IMO2030 and IMO2050 targets, a group of industry stakeholders today unveiled the design for a Liquefied Hydrogen (LH2) bunkering vessel.
The project, sponsored by Innovation Norway and developed by Moss Maritime, Equinor, Wilhelmsen and DNV-GL, the partners say the vessel design comes "at a time when hydrogen is finally developing into a viable solution for the larger market."
The 9,000 m3 capacity vessel is based on Moss Maritime's experience developing LNG carriers, and will carry liquefied hydrogen at a temperature of -253 °C.
Håkon Lenz, VP Europe and Americas, Wilhelmsen Ship Management
The commercial feasibility of such a vessel is depending on the overall hydrogen market development
"Equinor believes hydrogen may represent an attractive energy solution for the sectors that are hard to decarbonize and currently outside the scope of renewable solutions like batteries. Long haul maritime shipping is one of these and an important milestone has been passed by introducing a logistical solution for transport of liquefied hydrogen by the sea," says Steinar Eikaas, VP for Low Carbon Solutions in Equinor.
Of course, just as with the emerging uptake of liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers, the adoption of hydrogen as a marine fuel is caught in a similar chicken-and-egg dilemma where the development of bunkering infrastructure typically requires known customers, but customers are reluctant to adopt such an alternative before relevant bunkering infrastructure is present.
"The commercial feasibility of such a vessel is depending on the overall hydrogen market development. Once market signals show that there is a need for big scale liquefied hydrogen, we and our partners are ready to take this design to the next level," says Håkon Lenz, VP Europe and Americas of Wilhelmsen Ship Management.
"By initiating and participating in this project we prepare ourselves for meeting the demand of our customers in the years to come."