Vallourec’s Contribution to a Low Carbon Future

The UN’s 2015 Paris Agreement rallied most of the world around the needed effort to shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon alternatives. To achieve stated goals, governments, international bodies and industry sectors are uniting to drive the transition toward renewable energies. Vallourec, is using their built-in expertise to help achieve these ambitious targets.

In October 2019, Vallourec took a big step toward this goal when they launched their Energy Transition Opportunities (ETO) initiative. With knowledge in areas like corrosion, high-temperature environments, pressurized steam and steel metallurgy, they’re already playing an active role in geothermal energy and CCUS developments. And they’re quickly ramping up work in other renewable areas to create structured partnerships within these industries. Vallourec is excited to play the role of innovator in this transition.

It can’t be denied that electrical power from renewables will see a great increase in the coming years compared to oil and coal, and that this evolution will reduce the usage of tubes. Vallourec is convinced of the opportunities offered by renewable energies and ETO is the best sign of Vallourec’s ambition to move toward developing new technologies and business that will bring low-carbon projects to fruition.

Fueling the energy transition
With ETO, Vallourec sought out some of the best internal and external sources they could find to start up our team of renewables experts. For now, they have created clusters around four resources: carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS); geothermal; hydrogen; and offshore wind, which complement our solar offer. Vallourec looked at each of these energies and assessed markets to figure out exactly how to best shift Vallourec fully into the mix.

Vallourec have identified many opportunities across the renewable spectrum and are now seeking to accelerate into these new markets. Through public and private partnerships and new skills acquisition, Vallourec aims to consolidate its position as a true partner and expert within the global low-carbon community. Their goal is to contribute to turnkey renewable energy development projects all over the world.

Vallourec’s expertise
The global energy shift won’t come easy, though. After over a hundred years of relying on fossil fuels, the world faces great challenges in bringing low-carbon energies to the fore. Infrastructure must be developed across the board, and each specific energy comes with its own set of obstacles.

Geothermal energy, for example, is a nearly unlimited clean resource that emits virtually no greenhouse gases. But it’s best captured in environments where high temperatures and corrosion can hinder extraction.

Vallourec can also offer their expertise in the transport and storage of CO2, which requires mastery over severe conditions. These can develop due to CO2 impurities, water content, or a potential sudden temperature drop to subzero levels.

Likewise, Vallourec poised to offer transport and storage solutions for the hydrogen energy industry. As the smallest and lightest element, hydrogen requires extremely high-pressure storage to stay effective. It can also reduce the ductility and strength of metal tubing, which can lead to leakage. Vallourec’s knowledge allows us to propose tubular solutions that meet these challenges.

Tailored solutions
Vallourec is not just trying to copy and paste oil and gas tubes and services solutions into these new markets. Their objective is to adapt their broader knowledge to new applications. They know how to handle pressurized steam, for example. This could open up new perspectives for carbon capture services. Vallourec can adapt our tubular solutions for CO2 transport and injection and refigure their intelligent pipes for downhole monitoring and measurement, ensuring storage well integrity.

Vallourec also aims to increase their contribution in the area of hydrogen refueling stations. More than providing large pipes for storage, they can develop more complex systems required to meet future needs for safety, refueling time and competitiveness.

Vallourec has got a promising future in offshore wind, as well, with their PREON® MARINE solution, which reduces underwater noise and seabed damage with its “push and rotate” installation technology.

These are the areas Vallourec’s concentrating on first, regularly reevaluating to make sure they’re focusing on the energies where they can offer the best solutions. Vallourec’s exploring new opportunities all the time and thus continuously adapting our portfolio of solutions.