MITSUI O.S.K. Lines has signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia’s Woodside Energy, HD Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) and Hyundai Glovis to explore the development of a liquefied hydrogen supply chain.

Hydrogen, a lower-carbon energy source, is attracting a great deal of attention as the world looks to move toward decarbonisation. Demand for the transport of liquefied hydrogen is expected to rise in the coming decades. 

The three companies will study the technology, safety, construction, operation and economics of a carrier with an 80,000 cubic-metre tank capacity, with the aim of establishing a liquefied hydrogen supply chain in Asia and other regions.  

If a project results from the MOU, the parties’ goal is to have a vessel built and in operation by 2030.  

The liquefied hydrogen carrier would, under its concept design, use hydrogen as its main fuel, which is anticipated to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. 

Liquefied hydrogen takes up about 1/800th the volume of hydrogen gas.  

While liquefied hydrogen is non-toxic and can be transported safely and efficiently, it must be cooled to –253 degrees Celsius which requires advanced technology.  

Woodside, HD KSOE, and Hyundai Glovis have evaluated MOL’s expertise gained through decades of experience in transporting liquefied natural gas and its various efforts to address decarbonisation issues and approached the company to cooperate in this study. 

Discussions between the parties contemplate that, if a project results from the MOU, Woodside would be responsible for producing hydrogen and storing it at loading and discharging ports. 

HD KSOE would design and build the vessel, and Hyundai Glovis and MOL would be responsible for providing ship operational input into the vessel design, including logistics, propulsion, storage and cargo handling.