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Vallourec® New Energies: accelerating North America’s green journey

Over the past two years, renewable energy has significantly accelerated its growth in North America (NA).
Energy transition

Over the past two years, renewable energy has significantly accelerated its growth in North America (NA). To support its evolution, Vallourec® New Energies is involved in multiple markets in this sector and collaborating with industry players. Experts from the New Energies team in NA weigh in on the exciting prospects ahead.


From the left to the right: Elizabeth Cambre, Heather Byers, Andrew Cassidy and Joe Hill

The renewable energy sector in North America continues to surge, with key markets such as carbon capture, geothermal and hydrogen experiencing unprecedented growth.

Joe Hill, Vice President of Vallourec® New Energies in North America, has closely observed this change. “The landscape has drastically shifted from just a few years ago, when Europe was further along in its green journey,” he says. “The US has recently taken significant steps to catch up to Europe in driving the energy transition.

This is largely thanks to legislation promoting clean energy, such as 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act, which reduces renewable energy costs for organizations. Recent tax credit incentives allow US corporate taxpayers to deduct a portion of the cost of renewable energy systems from their federal taxes.
This legislative push has allocated $400 billion to clean energy development,” says Heather Byers, CCUS and Hydrogen Business Development Manager for NA. “The impact has been profound, establishing North America as a global leader in renewable energy innovation.


Building a winning team

In a short time, Vallourec® New Energies in North America has grown from a one-man operation led by Joe to a full team actively shaping the US energy transformation. “Back in 2022, it was essentially just me,” Joe says. “We were responding to a budding market that was completely nascent, but we had big ambitions. Now we’ve grown into a complete team that’s setting industry benchmarks, carrying out Vallourec’s long-term commitment to bolster the energy transition.”

The expansion of Vallourec® New Energies in North America included strategic hires such as Andrew Cassidy, Hydrogen Storage Business Development Manager, and Elizabeth Cambre, Geothermal Business Development Manager, who brought their extensive experience from the hydrogen and broader energy markets, respectively. This core business has sharpened its focus on carbon capture, geothermal and hydrogen – areas where Vallourec can most effectively leverage its expertise.

Initially, there was some skepticism about the legitimacy of New Energies,” says Heather. “Now, it’s recognized as an indispensable component of the Group,” she says, adding that this diversification strategy will be crucial to ensure Vallourec’s long term future.

The vanguard of renewables technology

Explore the trailblazing technologies Vallourec is pioneering – from advanced geothermal systems and groundbreaking hydrogen storage solutions to innovative approaches in carbon capture.

New frontiers in geothermal

As Geothermal Business Development Manager, Elizabeth explains how Vallourec’s tubulars are making closed-loop systems possible worldwide. “Our tech is integral to geothermal pilot projects currently underway in the United States, Kenya and Indonesia,” she says. “If those are successful, we’ll see hundreds of similar wells deployed in the coming years.

This solution will soon be able to facilitate geothermal installation in magma-hot underground rock, which heats up to temperatures of 300° C and above. Vallourec® New Energies is qualifying THERMOCASE® VIT as well as other premium casing connections such as VAM® 21 to be used in geothermal systems retrieving high-density energy from this superhot rock source.

Lithium-produced extractions from both geothermal brines and direct geological extraction is another promising technology on the horizon. “The lithium we extract from salt and sea brine is crucial for millions of electric vehicles,” Elizabeth says. “Projects in Arkansas, Texas, California and Utah are advancing our capabilities in this area in addition to direct lithium extraction.

Vallourec has also joined the Well2Watts partnership with Baker Hughes, focused on converting depleted oil wells into geothermal energy sources. This approach recycles former wells to meet local power needs without relying on fossil fuels.

Hydrogen storage reimagined

Hydrogen is steadily gaining recognition as a solution for decarbonizing a variety of industrial processes. However, high costs and limited availability of traditional means of storage, such as salt caverns or depleted aquifers, pose obstacles to its widespread use.

With the ability to store up to 100 tons of hydrogen in vertical, underground cavities, Delphy is Vallourec’s turnkey solution for hydrogen storage.

Delphy isn’t just about tubes and pipes, it is a complete storage solution,” says Andrew. “We’re collaborating with several partners to deliver this solution, including civil construction companies to build the containment cavity up to 330 feet deep on customer sites,” he says.

Delphy has already attracted significant interest, with memorandums of understanding signed with the companies H2V and NextChem. Vallourec plans first commercialization of Delphy next year and North America is a key target market.

The future of carbon capture

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is increasingly recognized as critical for mitigating climate change while fossil fuels continue to be used. “Carbon capture is an absolutely essential piece of the world’s decarbonization goals, especially for heavy industries for which emissions are hard to abate,” Joe says.

Understanding that carbon isn’t going away anytime soon, Vallourec® New Energies advocates the need for effective infrastructure. “CCUS enables us not only to store carbon underground, but also to turn it into feedstock for other materials such as sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) or plastics,” Heather says.

Vallourec supports this sector with a range of specialized products. “We provide both subsurface tubulars as well as onshore and offshore transport lines, along with coatings and bends designed for CCUS operations,” Heather says.

Corrosion Resistant Alloys (CRA), thoroughly qualified VAM® 21 premium connection, and CLEANWELL® are key technologies that enhance the durability and environmental safety of CCUS infrastructure. Vallourec developed CLEANWELL® for O&G as a sustainable alternative for leaded grease commonly used as a thread compound.

Before the energy transition started, there was already a push to get rid of lead-based compounds in the environment,” Heather says. “It was a no-brainer to have this solution applicable for New Energy projects, too.” As expected, CLEANWELL® has proven overwhelmingly successful in the renewables market, yielding orders at a rate competitive to that of the North American O&G division.

Building the framework for success

Vallourec’s hand in shaping the US energy transition extends to its presence on distinguished committees and organizations. This high level of community engagement aims to address factors negatively affecting the fast-moving renewables industry.

A big challenge to sustaining the energy transition is a general lack of infrastructure and some rather long permitting processes,” Joe says. “We’re striving to spark incentives for legislation that will give way to those resources and simplify permitting.

Vallourec® New Energies is working toward this goal by welcoming new business into the renewables sector. “As we continue to grow the field, integrating non-traditional players is key,” Joe says. “It’s therefore important for us to be not only a tube supplier, but also a trusted partner and advisor who can guide players through the industry.

New Energies team members are active in the Geothermal Rising association and the AMPP (Association for Materials Protection and Performance), where they contribute to the development of industry standards.

The team has also presented in conferences and published numerous academic papers, including a joint project with TotalEnergies that was presented at Houston’s Offshore Technology Conference. The team has also won accolades such as the Hart Energy award for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) excellence.

Additionally, Vallourec is driving education and inclusion through its sponsorship of initiatives such as Women in Geothermal, which aims to diversify the evolving field.

It’s been amazing to see other companies throughout Houston become involved with Women in Geothermal – it shows we’re truly propelling excitement,” Elizabeth says. “O&G has a strong community, and now we’re building that for geothermal.”

Leading positive change


The Vallourec® New Energies team is intent on doing more to expand the movement. “It’s all about education,” Joe concludes. “We need to communicate to people the best practices we can employ to support their projects. Thankfully, the team we have here is composed of very high performers – we’re passionate about pushing New Energies into the future.