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The Aqua superyacht was shown off at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show (Sinot)

Bill Gates orders $644  million hydrogen-powered ‘superyacht’

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The Microsoft co-founder’s environmentally friendly vessel will be a world-first, the Sunday Telegraph reported. However, the designer denied any links to Gates.

Bill Gates may have been focusing on charity in the past decade or so, but he still buys a pricey gadget every now and then.

The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft usually rents yachts for holidays off the coast of Sardinia but has now decided to take the plunge and buy one of his own.

The 112-meter long yacht has five decks which host 14 guests and a 31-person crew. It comes with a number of ultra-fancy amenities, including an infinity pool, a deck lounge that turns into a home (boat?) cinema, a spa, gym, beauty salon, helipad, and a private observatory deck at the yacht’s bow with a near-unlimited view of the ocean.

The yacht’s two 1MW motors, fueled by two massive hydrogen tanks, give it a 17-knot top speed and a 3,750-mile range.

Bill Gates

Despite all the luxury, the fact that the Aqua is the first fully hydrogen-powered vessel of its kind gives the yacht an environmentally friendly note.

Created by Dutch architecture and design company Sinot, the yacht uses two 28-tonne vacuum sealed tanks containing liquid hydrogen to power the two one-megawatt motors and propellers. On-board fuel cells combine oxygen with the hydrogen to produce the electricity.

The only byproduct from the engines is water although because hydrogen filling stations are pretty rare, the ship will have a diesel engine backup tucked away in case of an emergency.

And just as an extra, the fire bowls out on deck aren’t lit with wood or coal – they use a special gel that doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide.

The Aqua isn’t expected to hit the high seas until at least 2024.

However, Sinot denied in an email to CNET that the Aqua concept had been sold to Gates. The designer “has no business relationship” with the billionaire, it said, and reports about the vessel are “incorrect.”

Gates Ventures (his investment firm) has not responded to  requests for comment.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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