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Houlder completes hydrogen vessel design for Shell

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UK company Houlder, which consults on engineering and design, has finished a substantial design for a vessel capable of carrying 20,000 cbm of liquid hydrogen (LH2) for Shell’s trading and shipping division.

After working with Shell to agree the desired vessel specifications, Houlder’s team got to work on a study of feasibility for how to fuel and power such a vessel, as well as working on aspects like structural and hull design. According to Houlder, it then performed an analysis with computational fluid dynamics to validate and optimise its conceptual design. The company has also worked on other hydrogen-related projects for Shell, such as instrumentation and piping for hydrogen vessels and containment systems.

Houlder’s Ship Design & Engineering Director, Jonathan Strachan, said that the projects were “very cool”:

“…both literally and metaphorically, with liquid hydrogen clocking in at -253°C. It is always a privilege to design pioneering vessels that have the potential to drive the energy transition forwards. And it’s become part of Houlder’s DNA. We look forward to collaborating with Shell on future pioneering projects.”

Shell, which also makes lubricants like commercial vehicle oil, also recently signed a MoU, also known as a memorandum of understanding, with Alfa Laval, a Swedish provider of sustainable solutions. Under the terms of the MoU, the Swedish organisation will develop a new sort of gas combustion unit (GCU) fuelled by the boil-off gas from a liquid hydrogen carrier’s storage tank. Once a society with IACS classification gives the brand-new GCU approval, a prototype is to be produced and tested.

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