The superyacht will be based on Sinot Yacht & Architecture Design's 112-metre long Aqua and powered by two 28-ton vacuum-sealed tanks that store liquid hydrogen at minus 252 Celsius. The liquid hydrogen will generate sufficient power for the dual one-megawatt motors via fuel cells, which combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air to produce only electricity and water

By Ian Horswill


Posted on February 10, 2020

Bill Gates, the world’s second-richest man and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, has ordered the world’s first liquid hydrogen-powered superyacht.

The custom-built superyacht will be based on Sinot Yacht & Architecture Design‘s 112-metre long Aqua and will be powered by two 28-ton vacuum-sealed tanks that store liquid hydrogen at minus 252 Celsius. The liquid hydrogen will generate sufficient power for the dual one-megawatt motors via fuel cells, which combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air to produce only electricity and water.

Bill Gates, Aqua, superyacht

Bill Gates’ alternative fuelled superyacht however has its credibility damaged with a diesel back-up being incorporated into the build due to the scarcity of hydrogen refuelling stations. It is understood the project includes plans to establish liquid hydrogen facilities at the superyacht’s home port, The Telegraph reported.

“Aqua is focused on an environmentally sensitive subject: yacht propulsion and the choice of fuel. Propulsion systems have become highly optimized over the past few years: diesel-electric combinations in many configurations and setups have grown in popularity, with the goal of increasing efficiency and ultimately reducing emissions. To take this discussion into an entirely new realm we have initiated AQUA, our new yacht concept, using a hydrogen-electric system capable of catering for all onboard energy needs,” states Sinot Yacht & Architecture Design.

The alternative fuelled superyacht will be built for Bill Gates by the superyacht manufacturer Feadship from The Netherlands.

Bill Gates has developed a longstanding interest in alternative fuels. He is an investor in Heliogen, a California start-up that uses software to control an array of mirrors that focuses the sun’s rays to generate extreme heat. It aims to create a clean source of hydrogen gas by splitting water molecules without the use of fossil fuels.

Superyachts have been powered by diesel-electric but are under more pressure to lower emissions.

Bill Gates, 64, is known to rent superyachts to take his family on holiday – he was photographed off the coast of Sardinia, Italy, in August 2014 – and it is reported that this is his first purchase of a superyacht.

Bill Gates, Melinda Gates

It has five decks and space for 14 guests and 31 crew members. . It is the first company in the world to concentrate sunlight to reach temperatures that are high enough to power heavy industry without carbon emissions.

Bill Gates has pledged to give away most of his estimated US$118 billion fortune via The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He donated US$100 million to help tackle coronavirus.