Kawasaki Launches World’s First Liquefied Hydrogen Carrier

Kawasaki Heavy Industries has launched the Suiso Frontier, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier at Kobe Works. This vessel was developed to provide a means of transporting liquefied hydrogen at 1/800 of its original gas-state volume, cooled to -253°C.

A 1250-cubic-metre vacuum-insulated, double-shell-structure liquefied hydrogen storage tank is currently being manufactured at Harima Works. The ship is to be delivered by late 2020. Once complete, the Suiso Frontier will be used for technology demonstration testing aimed at the establishment of an international hydrogen energy supply chain in which liquefied hydrogen produced in Australia will be shipped to Japan.

Hydrogen is gaining popularity as a key next-generation energy source to combat global warming. It does not emit CO2 or other greenhouse gases during use, and expected applications include power generation, fuel cell vehicles and more.


In 2016, Kawasaki joined forces with Iwatani Corporation, Shell Japan Limited, and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-Power) to form the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association (HySTRA). This organisation has been pursuing technological development aimed at building an energy supply chain enabling economical and reliable sourcing of hydrogen in large volumes.

In addition to the liquefied hydrogen carrier, a liquefied hydrogen unloading terminal is being built in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, and a brown coal gasification facility is being constructed in Australia.

Hydrogen Carrier Specifications

  • Length overall: 116.0 metres
  • Length between perpendiculars: 109.0 metres
  • Molded breadth: 19.0 metres
  • Molded depth: 10.6 metres
  • Molded draft: 4.5 metres
  • Gross tonnage: approximately 8000 tonnes
  • Tank cargo capacity: approximately 1250 cubic metres
  • Propulsion system: diesel electric propulsion
  • Sea speed: approximately 13.0 knots
  • Capacity: 25 persons
  • Classification: Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK)
  • Country of registration:Japan
  • Ship owner: HySTRA

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.