Vallourec tubes boosting carbon neutrality

03/01/2020 - Environment

All manufacturers are committing to reducing their CO2 footprint, with Oil & Gas companies at the forefront. Vallourec supports them with its “green” tubes, sustainable solutions, and innovations in the circular economy and energy transition. Here’s a chance to discover Vallourec’s highly innovative “CO2 reduction” perspective.

Vallourec production is low carbon

Neutrality begins at home. 

The carbon footprint of Vallourec’s factories is almost zero and has been for some time.

Vallourec tubes are made from steel 60% produced in the Group’s own steel mills, ensuring their CO2 footprint is kept under control. Most of our “in-house” steel (73% to be precise) is produced in the electric steel mills in Jeceaba (Brazil) and Youngstown (USA) from recycled scrap.

In Brazil, Vallourec really is setting an example. Steel is produced from recycled scrap or in blast furnaces powered by wood obtained from the Group’s own forests. The subsidiary Vallourec Florestal manages 230,000 hectares of eucalyptus forest that have been sequestering large quantities of carbon and simultaneously providing the planet with a fantastic fresh oxygen supply since 1969! The responsible and efficient operation of these forests is one of Vallourec’s globally recognized strengths. Added to which, the electricity consumed by the Brazilian sites is mostly produced from hydroelectric and thus renewable sources, completing the virtuous loop.

Continuing the fight against climate change!

Vallourec is committed to further reducing energy consumption in its rolling mills, and reducing their CO2 emissions into the bargain.

These fell by 15% between 2008 and 2015. Today, 40% of Vallourec production is ISO 5001 certified. This will rise to 60% in 2021 and to 90% in 2022.

The Group has also begun the process of SBT (Science Based Targets) certification, along with an ambitious emissions reduction plan, to contribute to the global climate effort and the goal of keeping any temperature increase below 2 degrees, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement. 

The next challenge: reducing customers’ carbon footprints 

Vallourec tubes are ingenious.

Take the example of threaded tubes with VAM® connections. They are perfectly gas-tight and their design allows their use with oil or gas, as recommend by the OGCI (Oil and Gas Climate Initiative). And Vallourec is going further, developing solutions to detect and prevent leaks of hydrocarbons and greenhouse gases. Vallourec is also a pioneer in “green” tubes. Produced in Brazil, these have a negative CO2 balance per ton of steel.

And the innovation continues...

Digital solutions, smart tubes and new materials promise to accelerate the reduction of customers’ carbon footprints.

Take for example the Cleanwell® coating: non-polluting and factory-applied to VAM® 21 connections, it replaces the toxic grease used for storage and threading on site, and reduces operators’ carbon footprints along with their handling costs. Additive manufacturing makes it possible to use only the exact quantity of raw material needed, and offers the prospect of economical accessories and parts. The circular economy inspires Vallourec. For example, a service to recover customers’ unused tubes was selected as part of the 2019 internal innovation challenge. With some large operators, this could mean a second life for thousands of tubes. 

Beyond oil and familiar models

Vallourec has a history of supplying green energy companies

The Group has been investing in geothermal energy for decades, developing specific grades and contributing to major projects worldwide. It has been committed to wind power for many years and supplies structural parts for offshore wind farms in the North Sea. As for hydrogen, Vallourec tubes are used in refueling stations. More recently, Vallourec has been exploring solar, along with CO2 and hydrogen capture and storage, a world that appeals to the core of its expertise. At Vallourec, innovation is open, and the Group capitalizes on all its assets to support its customers in their carbon challenge: whether in its research laboratories, developing their studies and tests, or in its Brazilian forests, offering them green certificates and giving their carbon neutrality a definite boost.