Hanwha unveils plan for emission-free gas carrier and green ship investment

South Korea Hanwha is moving forward on its plan to build a zero-emission gas carrier powered entirely by alternative fuels.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland, Dong Kwan (DK) Kim, vice chairman of Hanwha Group, unveiled a new vision for the decarbonization of shipping and introduced Hanwha’s plans to build a gas carrier, using Hanwha’s proprietary green technology.

Dong Kwan Kim emphasized the importance of global collaboration to bring such green technologies to “fruition and grow market demand.”

At a session titled “The First Fossil-Free Ship on the Water,” Kim shared Hanwha’s blueprint for the development of a carbon-free vessel powered by alternative fuels such as ammonia.

As existing internal combustion engines require 5% to 15% of pilot fuel, diesel, for the purpose of ignition, building a vessel free of carbon emissions requires a fundamentally different approach.

“This is why Hanwha is developing an ammonia-powered gas turbine to replace conventional engines, thus eliminating the need for pilot fuel,” said Kim.

Hanwha also plans to install hydrogen fuel cells with energy storage systems (ESS) as the vessel’s auxiliary source of power.

Kim also announced plans to own and operate the newly developed green ships to bring the technology to maturity. “Deep-sea vessels are capital-intensive investments. They take anywhere from two to three years to build and remain in service for two to three decades, making it extremely difficult for shipowners to invest in budding technologies. By demonstrating the benefits of green ship technology, Hanwha aims to lower the barriers for shipowner investment and drive demand,” he said.

Hanwha Group has a business portfolio that includes energy and materials, aerospace, finance and retail & services.

On the other hand, Hanwha Ocean is a company in the shipbuilding and offshore industry, producing a vast range of vessels, including commercial ships, drillships, and specialty ships.