Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) [009540:KS], the shipbuilding unit of Hyundai Industries Group [267250:KS], expects to possess the technology to transport hydrogen by ship by 2025, as reported by Reuters on January 13. KSOE has developed a concept ship capable of carrying 20,000 cubic meters of hydrogen fuel, albeit less than one-tenth of the carrying capacity of the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker. KSOE anticipates a growing demand for hydrogen shipping amid the booming hydrogen market and aims to commercialize its hydrogen tankers between 2025 and 2027.
The shipping industry has a key responsibility to decarbonize, as it undertakes 90% of global trade and emits around 3% of the world’s carbon dioxide. As one of the largest shipbuilders across the world, KSOE plans in the early stage to use LNG-fueled ships to transport hydrogen, which is currently transferred by pipelines and trucks. Moreover, the shipbuilder aims to have hydrogen-powered vessels carry such fuel once the hydrogen market matured. Under South Korea’s hydrogen economy roadmap published in 2019, the country will reach an annual hydrogen output of 3.9m tons in 2030, compared with 250,000 tons in 2020. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that in a Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, the global hydrogen demand from industries would grow 44% from 2021 to 2030.