Hydrogen Users

Hydrogen Users

Industrial hydrogen users

Safely using hydrogen in an industrial facility

Being the smallest molecule on earth does not mean that it doesn’t pose a substantial risk to any facility. Stork has ample experience working with this molecule ranging from:

  • Hydrogen burners: Stork has been designing and manufacturing these for decades, as hydrogen is often one of the many components in waste streams that get routed to waste heat boilers. Some examples include:

    • Conversion of a natural gas fired steam boiler to a multi-fuels steam boiler, allowing for solo hydrogen firing in combination with natural gas and a liquid waste stream. The 12 MWth burner was manufactured at Stork’s Thermeq facility in Hengelo and subsequently installed at a major chemical plant – Netherlands, 2016 (click here for more information)

    • Manufactured and installed a multi-fuel burner in a heat recovery steam generator within a refinery in Turkey; allowing the facility to flexibly burn – depending on availability – natural gas, refinery gas and/or waste oil streams. The refinery gas could contain up to 75% hydrogen. The burner was compliant with local emission requirements for all fuels. It could operate (with flying take-over) between Turbine Exhaust Gas - TEG mode (65 MW) to fresh air mode (115 MW). (click here for more information)

        Stork is currently well underway in developing a hydrogen burner that operates with pure oxygen, which will help avoid NOx production.  At Stork, we understand flame behavior, turn-down ratios and other characteristics.

  • Hydrogen system maintenance and repair: for example a hydrogen reformer heater at one of our client's facilities was severely damaged. After initial inspection, the client decided that all 182 catalytic tubes would need to be replaced and that several cracks on the bottom manifold would need to be repaired as well. Considering that all pipework was made of 2032+Nb weld special alloys, which had been aged through several years of operation, the quality welding process and assurance would be of the essence for a successful project. Despite COVID limitations, we managed to complete the project within the tight schedule, within budget and provided certainly without jeopardizing safety nor quality.

Client reference - Hydrogen Reformer Repair

In 2020, Stork was called to help in the evaluation of the damages and to provide support in repairing a damaged hydrogen reformer heater.

After initial inspection, it was recommended to replace all the catalytic tubes as well to repair several cracks on the bottom manifold. Considering that all pipework was made of special alloys, which had aged over several years of operation, a quality welding process and assurance was consider the essence for a successful project.

The client requested Stork to support the damage assessment and to propose repair methods to recover the asset. Promptly, Stork in Colombia connected with the Stork and Fluor expert network and identified Fluor’s welding & materials subject matter expert, Mike Lang, as being best suited to visit the site and help define the repair scope. Ultimately, the following scopes were defined:

  • Definition of the welding procedures and oversight of the welder’s qualifications.

  • Provide specialized  welder crews to repair the manifold and local welders to repair the catalytic tubes.

  • Deliver the remaining scope consisting of dismantling damaged internals, reassembling the furnace and providing HSE, QA/QC, as well as all logistics.

After qualifying the welding procedures, the welding crew travelled to Colombia to deliver the manifold job. The project was progressing as planned when COVID-19 hit. At one point, the Colombian government decided to lockdown the whole country and discontinue all international flights. Therefore, the welders departed Colombia on the very last flight leaving to Houston. However, this did leave the manifold only ~60% complete.

A new strategy to complete the remaining manifold activities had to be arranged quickly. It was decided to complete the job with local welders, but of course, only after a rigorous regulation assurance process.  The local welders successfully completed the remaining work to be done on the manifold. They demonstrated fantastic workmanship, delivering excellent and quality results.

Complexity of the project increased due to COVID, which added HSE risks and many logistical threats. But, thanks to the commitment of all parties involved, all the challenges were successfully managed allowing Stork to complete the project to the hgihest standards of HSE and quality, within a very tight schedule.

This is a good example of integration with the Client and the different Stork and Fluor’s organizations working with the single focus to solve a problem and add value.

Get in touch with one of our experts today! Send an email to experts@stork.com and learn more about how Stork can enable Energy Transition in your company.