HD KSOE Launches Maritime Decarbonization R&D Facility

South Korean Shipbuilding Giant Advances Green Technology Testing for Future Vessels


South Korea’s prominent shipbuilding titan, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE), has unveiled its latest endeavor in the pursuit of maritime decarbonization with the inauguration of a state-of-the-art research and development facility. Named the Marine Innovative R&D facility, this hub is situated within the confines of the esteemed HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) yard located in Ulsan.

While HD KSOE already boasts pre-existing research and development infrastructures dedicated to green technologies, these setups predominantly cater to the testing of specific functionalities, such as the provision of LNG fuel to vessels. However, the newly established facility is engineered to replicate and evaluate a spectrum of processes encompassing the entirety of shipboard cargo operations – spanning from loading and in-transit operations to unloading – alongside scrutinizing technologies poised to curtail carbon emissions.

This holistic approach equips HD KSOE with the capability to forecast the performance of select technologies within a controlled, land-based environment prior to their implementation on actual vessels. According to HD KSOE, this proactive measure promises to enhance the safety and reliability of novel ship designs integrated with green technologies.

“Given the tightening regulatory landscape concerning environmental standards, the imperative to ensure the reliability of diverse technologies cannot be overstated. HD KSOE endeavors to leverage this newly established facility to preemptively validate eco-friendly equipment earmarked for vessel integration,” articulated a spokesperson from HD KSOE.

Among the initial tasks earmarked for the new facility is the evaluation of reliquefaction equipment efficacy designed for liquefied carbon dioxide carriers (LCO2). Reliquefaction processes serve to mitigate emissions while maximizing cargo deliverability.

Currently, HD Hyundai is spearheading the construction of two of the world’s largest LCO2 carriers, commissioned under an order secured last year from Greek shipowner Capital Maritime Group. Anticipated for delivery next year, these mammoth carriers boast a volumetric capacity of 22,000 cubic meters each.

Furthermore, the R&D facility is poised to examine a technology tailored for the in-situ production of dry ice within vessel cargo holds, an innovation poised to revolutionize the transportation of perishable goods.

Simultaneously, HD KSOE has outlined its ambition to broaden the spectrum of green technologies and vessel typologies subjected to testing within this facility by 2026. Envisaged additions encompass novel propulsion systems for vessels, such as those powered by ammonia and methanol, alongside hybrid electric configurations.

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