World’s first bulk liquefied hydrogen vessel arrives in Singapore

Singapore has welcomed the world’s first bulk liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier, designed and manufactured by Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and operated by Shell Japan.

Courtesy of MPA & HySTRA

The vessel was berthed at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore on Pulau Bukom from 1 September to 7 September 2023.

According to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Teo Chee Hean, Singapore’s Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Chee Hong Tat, Acting Minister for Transport, Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, and representatives from various government agencies and industry partners were hosted to separate visits onboard Suiso Frontier and were briefed on the design and safety features of the vessel.

Eng Dih commented: “Singapore announced our National Hydrogen Strategy in late 2022. The properties of hydrogen and its potential to be produced at scale using renewable sources make hydrogen a potential fuel to support the energy transition to a low and zero-carbon future.”

“MPA is actively studying the use of hydrogen and its carriers as a marine fuel and welcomes collaboration with industry players such as KHI and Shell as well as our work with our research community, such as the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing, to bring the Suiso Frontier to Singapore.”

“This vessel visit has helped to inform the development of safety and operational procedures and also support further feasibility studies and preparations for the deep-sea transportation and receipt of liquefied alternative fuels.”

Shigeru Yamamoto, Executive Officer, Deputy General Manager, Hydrogen Strategy Division, KHI, noted: “We strongly believe that an international supply chain of liquefied hydrogen by marine transportation is essential to realize a carbon-neutral world.”

“The world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier, showed the world that cryogenic liquefied hydrogen can be transported by ship. We are confident that liquefied hydrogen will attract even more attention from around the world in the future.”

Nick Potter, General Manager of Shell Shipping and Maritime for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, concluded: “Transportation through deep-sea shipping is one of the critical steps essential for unlocking the use of hydrogen as a future zero-carbon fuel. The Suiso Frontier represents a key milestone in demonstrating the technical feasibility of liquefied hydrogen shipping.”

To remind, Suiso Frontier is operated by Shell Japan under the Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA) project funded by Japan’s Government and various partners.

The vessel, which can carry up to 1,250 cubic meters of liquefied hydrogen at -253 degrees Celsius in the storage tank, completed its maiden voyage between Australia and Japan in February 2022 and is now in the demonstration phase, which aims to assess performance, reliability and integrity of its system through more load-unload cycles as well as provide more operational experience.