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16 Feb 2024

Mitsui and Woodside Energy have agreed to evaluate the potential of a liquid hydrogen supply chain in Asia

Amy Power
Mitsui and Woodside Energy have agreed to evaluate the potential of a liquid hydrogen supply chain in Asia

Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) and Woodside Energy, along with a few other companies, have created a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly study the development of liquid hydrogen shipping solutions.

The other companies involved in this project are HD Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) and Hyundai Glovis. All of these companies will collaborate through the MoU on the study and evaluation of transporting liquid hydrogen.

This study and evaluation will involve the companies assessing the technology’s safety, construction, operation and economics of a carrier tank that has a tank capacity of 80,000 meters cubed. The aim of this project is to find a way to establish a liquefied hydrogen supply chain within Asia and throughout other regions.

Each company involved in the project would have a specific role to play, in Woodside’s case, this is to produce the hydrogen and store it at loading and discharging ports. HD KSOE will be tasked with designing and building the vessel, Hyundai, Glovis and MOL will be in charge of providing operational input into the vessel design. Providing operational input will include tasks such as dealing with logistics, propulsion, storage and cargo handling.

It is very important to have multiple companies all collaborating under one MoU for this project, as it is a large and difficult project, but also an incredibly important and useful one. Having hydrogen in a liquid form has a multitude of benefits, especially when it comes to transportation. Some of these benefits of liquefied hydrogen include the way it takes up 1/800th less storage space compared to hydrogen gas. Liquefied hydrogen is non-toxic and finally, once cooled to -235 degrees Celsius with the use of advanced technology, it can be transported both safely and efficiently.

This project will not only be of significance and beneficial to the hydrogen industry, but it also aligns with MOL Group’s ‘BLUE ACTION 2035’ management plan. It has also set a target of achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the ‘MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2.’

The companies have already planned the next steps for this project, as whilst it is only in its research stage, the companies have agreed that if the research turns out promising results and the MoU becomes a project, then the companies aim to have a vessel built and ready to be used in operations by 2030. This vessel will also be designed to use hydrogen as its main fuel source.

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