Vallourec has been 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. HyPSTER is the first renewable hydrogen storage project supported by the European Union.
The European HyPSTER project, supported by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership and coordinated by Storengy, includes seven European partners: Armines-École Polytechnique, INOVYN, ESK, Element Energy, Ineris, Axelera. The project aims to design and operate an industrial demonstrator for the production, underground storage and use of renewable hydrogen.
The main idea is to use electricity from renewable energies to produce hydrogen by electrolysis, which is then compressed and stored in an underground reservoir in a salt cavern. This project is located on Storengy's underground natural gas storage site in Etrez (France), which benefits from the presence of salt caverns used for natural gas storage and which can be converted for hydrogen storage.
The challenges of storing hydrogen in salt caverns are somewhat different from those of storing natural gas. Due to hydrogen’s leak propensity, it is particularly important to install tubular solutions that guarantee tightness and integrity, as well as increased resistance to highly corrosive environments. Vallourec therefore drew on its experience and in-depth knowledge of corrosion in hydrogen environments, as well as its ongoing R&D work on hydrogen, to propose steel grades best suited to Storengy's needs.
Based on its long-standing partnership with the Group, both in terms of business and Research & Development, as well as the success of various storage projects already carried out in France, Storengy chose Vallourec, the world leader in premium tubular solutions for the energy markets, to participate in this pilot project. Vallourec has been selected to provide a complete range of tubes, services and VAM® 21 connections, tested and validated for hydrogen storage.
"With this latest equipment purchase, we will be able to continue our development in order to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen storage in salt caverns in relation to the intermittency of renewable energy production. We are very pleased with the work done in collaboration with Vallourec to qualify this innovative technology developed for the hydrogen storage industry", says Germain Hurtado, Hydrogen Project Director for Storengy.
Storengy’s choice of supplier was made following discussions between Storengy and Vallourec during the qualification tests for VAM® 21 connections for hydrogen applications.
The pioneering protocol developed by Vallourec for this qualification phase was based on real temperature and pressure data provided by some of our customers, including Storengy. By carrying out tests as close as possible to our customers' realities in the field, we are able to offer products that best meet their operational needsVincent Designolle Director of Hydrogen Activities
For the HyPSTER project, Vallourec's offer consists of casing, including sizes specific to hydrogen injection with diameters of 7'' 5/8 and 8'' 5/8, as well as tubing in size 4''1/2 which recover brine from the reservoir. VAM® 21 threaded connections will be a key element in the sealing and integrity of these casing and production tubes. Our material expertise has also enabled us to offer advanced proprietary Sour Service grades, such as VM80S, with mechanical properties adapted to the specific conditions associated with hydrogen and presenting superior performance to standard API grades. In addition to these products, Vallourec offered a range of services, including the storage and preparation of tubes, as well as the supervision of running operations by VAM® Field Service teams.
This comprehensive offer, designed specifically to meet the needs of the HyPSTER project, enabled us to make the difference and win Storengy's confidenceIgor Le Blan OCTG Sales Manager for the Europe & Africa region
The products supplied by Vallourec will be shipped from the Aulnoye-Aymeries mill in France in the summer of 2022 and will be delivered just before their installation in the third quarter of 2022. The HyPSTER project is in line with the actions undertaken by Vallourec to support its customers in the energy transition, particularly in the context of various hydrogen injection and storage projects. Through its participation in the pilot project led by Storengy, Vallourec is reaffirming its commitment to playing a major role in the fight against climate change
 This project is funded by the Public-Private Partnership on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH 2 JU) under grant agreement n°101006751. This Public-Private Partnership has received support from the European Union's Horizon H2020 research and innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.
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