Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bill Gates reportedly orders the world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht

The Dutch luxury superyacht specialist Feadship has received the first order to build a Sinot Aqua, the world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht. The first owner of Sinot Aqua, for which he has raised around $644 million, will be none other than the American billionaire and the second richest man in the world, Bill Gates, according to the report from The Telegraph.

The Aqua superyacht, designed by the Dutch company Sinot, was shown in December 2019 during the Monaco Yacht Show. What made this 112-meter (370ft) superyacht stands out from the other projects was its bold futuristic design and the ‘clean’ fuel used to propel it. Aqua is completely ecological thanks to the use of liquid hydrogen or fuel cell technology, instead of oil.

The fuel is stored on the yacht in two 28-ton vacuum-sealed tanks that are cooled to -253 degrees Celsius – such a low temperature is required to keep the hydrogen in a liquid state. The fuel will generate energy for the two one-megawatt engines and propellers through fuel cells onboard, which combine hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity. Hydrogen propulsion means that the only by-product of engine operation is water.

Sinot Aqua Construction
Sinot Aqua Construction

The Aqua will reach speeds of 17 knots (approximately 32 km/h or 20 mph), and its maximum range with full tanks will be 3,750 miles (6000 km). It would also have a “diesel backup” due to the shortage of hydrogen refueling stations, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

The luxury ship will have five decks and space to accommodate 14 guests and 31 crew members. It will also feature an infinity pool, helipad, spa, and gym. The hydrogen-powered superyacht is expected to be ready by 2024.

The Gates Foundation and Gates Ventures both declined to comment to The Telegraph.

Bill Gates, who did not own his own yacht and rented vessels for trips around the Mediterranean Sea, decided to invest in a very ecological project. The billionaire has long been interested in alternative fuels – he recently invested in California’s Heliogen start-up, which is working on an innovative technology to use sunlight for energy production.

  • On 10 February 2020, Sinot has informed on its home page that the reports about selling Sinot Aqua to Mr. Gates are ‘incorrect.’ “Aqua is a concept under development and has not been sold to Mr. Gates,” Sinoit insisted. Also, the company has “no business relationship with Mr. Gates.”