Tokyo – Leading classification society ClassNK (Chairman and President: Noboru Ueda) has granted Approval in Principle (AIP) to a new H2/CO2 FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) to a new design developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) FPSO are commonly used in the offshore oil and gas industry process and store crudeoil and liquefied gas from offshore wells until it can be transported via pipelines to shore or via ship-to-ship transfer. This new concept H2/CO2 FPSO, however, uses steam reforming and shift conversion to extract hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the associated gas produced as a byproduct of oil well production.
Due to its overwhelming environmentally-friendliness and excellent availability, there is growing interest in the use of hydrogen as a fuel, and research is ongoing around the world. The storage and transport of hydrogen continues to present a number of difficult
technical challenges for industrial and commercial use.
In order to address these challenges, the H2/CO2 FPSO uses a new organic chemical
hydride method to convert hydrogen into highly stable methylcyclohexane (MCH), which
can be stored in liquid form at an ambient temperature and pressure. As MCH can be
transported in standard chemical tankers, converting hydrogen into MCH not only
reduces the risks and challenges related to hydrogen storage, but also optimizes it for
transport using existing transportation networks. MCH produced by the H2/CO2 FPSO
could then be transported by chemical tankers to hydrogen demand sites and converted
back to hydrogen using a dehydrogenation reactor developed by Chiyoda.
The carbon dioxide extracted by the unit would be stored onboard and be used for
enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a commonly used process that uses gas injections to
displace and subsequently extract residual oil from subsea reservoirs.
The facility’s topside plant and floating body were developed by Chiyoda and MHI respectively with support from ClassNK’s Joint R&D for Industry Program. The new design is understood to be world’s first H2/CO2 FPSO design, as well as the first such facility to receive Approval in Principle.
Approval in Principle (AIP) is an essential step in the process of developing conceptual
designs for practical application in the maritime and offshore industries. As part of the
process, ClassNK conducted an extensive review of the concept design, including both
risk assessment and a thorough review of structural and topside plans for the
H2/CO2-FPSO to ensure the design complies with both ClassNK’s independently
developed rules and relevant international regulations and standards.
ClassNK is committed to using its extensive knowledge and expertise in overseeing the
development of offshore structures and facilities to support the development and
diffusion of new offshore energy resources and technologies.