2022 was an eventful year for Vallourec in terms of making progress in the energy transition field. Back in May 2022, Vallourec appointed Ulrika Wising as Senior Vice President Energy Transition in order to strengthen its commitments to the energy transition and develop new profitable business opportunities for the Group. It is in this interest that was launched Vallourec® New Energies in September, Vallourec’s portfolio of solutions for the hydrogen, CCUS, geothermal and solar markets. Important milestones have been achieved in each activity, proving Vallourec’s ambition to become an integral player of the low-carbon industries.
Vallourec is able to provide solutions and pipes for hydrogen transport and storage in any quantity, from cylinder storage, to pipe containment and large underground storage. In February 2022, Vallourec was chosen by Storengy, a subsidiary of ENGIE, one of the world leaders in underground natural gas storage and a key player in the development of renewable gases, to provide a complete range of tubular solutions and associated services for the "HyPSTER" project, the first renewable hydrogen storage project supported by the European Union. In October 2022, Vallourec supplied high-pressure pipes for the manufacturing of piston accumulators intended for the world’s first hydrogen refueling system for passenger trains launched by Linde in Germany.
Vallourec is also deeply involved in the development of new industry standards for hydrogen applications. We developed a qualification protocol validating our VAM® connections’ hydrogen sealability for hydrogen storage up to 560 bar and even qualified our dope-free solution CLEANWELL®. In addition, Vallourec successfully carried out a first series of tests qualifying the fracture toughness resistance of a selection of steel grades for OCTG pipes, line pipes and pressure vessels in the presence of pure H2 gas.
Vallourec is also participating in numerous joint industry projects and research programs to expand hydrogen knowledge. In 2022, Vallourec joined Norway’s HYDROGENi research initiative.
Capturing CO2 from industrial activities and storing it underground is essential to limiting global warming. Vallourec has been playing an important role in the industry by testing and qualifying corrosion-resistant material to transport and store CO2 with impurities as well as qualifying its VAM® connections’ tightness to store carbon in depleted oil reservoirs.
Our VAM® connection qualification protocol tests the connection’s sealability in several pressure and thermal cycling phases with temperatures lowering to -80°C in blow-out scenarios. Early 2022, Neptune Energy called on Vallourec to carry out a series of tests to validate materials for the safe injection of CO2 in depleted wells in the Dutch North Sea.
Vallourec has been a part of the geothermal industry for over 30 years, supplying heat-resistant tubulars to extract clean energy from the earth. Our latest VAM® connections are qualified up to 350°C under thermal cycles as per TWCCEP (Thermal Well Casing Connection Evaluation Protocol). In addition, Vallourec’s innovative THERMOCASE® Vacuum Insulated Tubing (VIT) is an integral part of closed-loop geothermal systems which produce heat and power with minimal losses.
In 2022, we announced an investment in GreenFire Energy Inc., an American start-up developing Advanced Geothermal Systems based on its innovative technology called GreenFire’s GreenLoop ™, of which THERMOCASE® VIT is an integral part.
Early 2022, we supplied Geo Dipa Energi with VAM® 21 connections for their geothermal wells in the Dieng Plateau in Indonesia to withstand temperatures of up to 330°C.
Vallourec supplies the solar industry with torque tubes and cold formed open profiles for the construction of solar trackers. In May 2022, Vallourec won a contract to provide 1,050 metric tons of torque tubes and 1,200 metric tons of cold formed open profiles to Nextracker for a solar farm in northeastern Brazil.
Vallourec has already proven its commitment to the energy transition and we are ready to continue to support our customers in their projects for 2023 and beyond.