THE first liquified hydrogen carrier sailed from Kobe, Japan on 24 December, bound for Hastings, Victoria to pick up its first cargo.

According to reporting from Reuters, the hydrogen carrier Suiso Frontier is due to arrive in Australia in the middle of this month, returning to Japan in mid-February.

The voyage is part of a $500-millon pilot project that is led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and backed by the Australian and Japanese governments. The pilot project aims to show that liquified hydrogen can be exported safely to Japan. It involves producing liquefied hydrogen from brown coal in Australia.

In May, classification society ClassNK issued an approval in principle to Kawasaki Heavy Industries for the design of a liquified hydrogen cargo containment system. The system approved features tanks with a capacity of 40,000 cubic metres that were developed for use on liquefied hydrogen carriers.

The Japan-registered Suiso Frontier is 116 metres long (LOA), with a draught of 4.5 metres. Its tank capacity is 1250 cubic metres and it is owned by CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA).