Singapore hosts world’s first bulk liquified hydrogen carrier

Singapore recently welcomed the world’s first bulk liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier, on 31 August 2023. The vessel was berthed at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore on Pulau Bukom from 1 September to 7 September 2023.

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

Designed and manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), Suiso Frontier, is operated by Shell under the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA) project funded by the Japanese government and various partners. The vessel can carry up to 1,250 cubic metres of liquefied hydrogen at -253 degrees Celsius in the state-of-the-art storage tank.

The vessel completed its maiden voyage between Australia and Japan in February 2022 and, after a refit period, is now in the next phase of the demonstration which aims to assess performance, reliability, and integrity of the vessel’s system through more load-unload cycles as well as provide more operational experience.

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said, ” Singapore announced our National Hydrogen Strategy in late 2022. The properties of hydrogen, and its potential to be produced at scale using renewable sources, makes 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 the collaboration with industry players such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries 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.” 

Mr Shigeru Yamamoto, Executive Officer Deputy General Manager, Hydrogen Strategy Division, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., said, “We strongly believe that an international supply chain of liquefied hydrogen by marine transportation is essential to realise a carbon-neutral world. The world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier, showed to 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.”

Mr Nick Potter, General Manager of Shell Shipping and Maritime for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, said, “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 and Shell’s maritime leadership in this area. Shell also remains committed to the safe and efficient operations of the vessel.”