Tokyo-based classification society ClassNK has released its Guidelines for Liquefied Hydrogen (LH2) Carriers.
The guidelines provide safety requirements for the design and construction of LH2 carriers that were based on the IMO Interim Recommendations, various international standards as well as additional requirements taking specific hazards arising from the handling of LH2 into consideration.
“The advent of liquefied hydrogen carrier technology opens the door to new and exciting possibilities, but as with all new technologies, proper guidance must be in place to ensure its safe application. ClassNK developed these guidelines to help ensure the safe design and construction of LH2 carriers and support this sector of the industry,” Hayato Suga, General Manager of ClassNK’s Natural Resources and Energy Department, said.
As a low carbon energy source, the use of hydrogen as a fuel is seen as a major possible solution to environmental problems caused by fuel emissions, especially amid of tightening international anti-global warming regime. As only water is discharged at the time of power generation, and can be manufactured from many different feed materials such as fossil fuel, water, and others, hydrogen is a prime candidate for the fuel of the future, ClassNK explains.
As interest for the practical use of hydrogen expands so does the need for the establishment of a secure supply chain arise, where carriage by a ship is expected to play a crucial role as the most efficient way for long distance and large volume transportation.
Currently, the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) outlines safety requirements for gas carriers like LNG. However, there are no specific requirements defined in the code applicable for LH2 carriers that take into account the hazards associated with the handling and transport of LH2.
Hydrogen must be kept at temperatures below −253°C in order to maintain its liquid state under atmospheric pressure, presenting an even tougher challenge than LNG. In response to growing interest in LH2 transportation, IMO developed Interim Recommendations for Carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen in Bulk which were adopted at MSC 97.