Bill Gates has ordered the world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht first publicised at last September’s Monaco Yacht Show. The first ‘Aqua’ will be built by Feadship of the Netherlands and will cost the software mogul half a billion pounds, according to the UK’s Sunday Telegraph.

The Dutch marine architects Sinot said last year that the 112-metre design was meant to appeal to environmentally sensitive billionaires, adding that the plans took “inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner”.

Mr Gates has previously preferred to charter yachts for summer cruises in the Mediterranean. The new vessel is due to go to sea in 2024.

The world’s second-richest man has a longstanding interest in alternative fuels. He said last year: “By investing in energy innovations, we can build on the progress we’ve made deploying current technology like renewables, which will help accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to a future of reliable and affordable carbon-free electricity.

“We need big breakthroughs in technologies that will allow us to supply the power grid with clean energy even during windless days, cloudy weather, and nighttime.”

PHOTO: ‘Aqua’ Sinot