Meet the Technical Team behind the Gigastack FEED study
The FEED study has enabled the partners – ITM Power, Ørsted, Phillips 66 and Element Energy - to gain valuable, in-depth knowledge of what is required to construct a hydrogen electrolysis facility at scale and the challenges that lie ahead. Here is a look at the fantastic teams involved in this study.
Brian Geertsen, Technical Project Manager, Ørsted
For me, it all started with a conversation one evening in Singapore.
“Hey there, we have an interesting task for you… There is this consortium looking at developing the largest renewable hydrogen plant in the world, and we thought you might be the technical project manager”
Talking to Steen Christoffersen, the Gigastack Project Manager, about the concept was exciting. Not only was it the world’s biggest project of its kind - it had never been done before. I was hooked!
Travelling home to Denmark ready to start this new endeavour, and suddenly everything was interrupted by something completely out of anyone’s hands. COVID-19 came knocking on the door, preventing anyone meeting in person for the kick-off meeting in UK – something so critical for the start of a project - especially when involving partners from very different industrial worlds.
And so, with this weird/exceptional start, the team was kicked off.
It soon became apparent that the real challenge this project faced was not the enormous technical feat required, the team members are extremely competent, but simply the lack of a physical presence that is so vital for building a connection between people.
We called on all available measures were used to get acquainted. Mail, Teams, WhatsApp, Messenger, (Beer delivered by a trusted courier) etc. in the search for the mutual interests outside the project work that creates the glue that make a team work.
The pandemic has brought frustration to many business and projects across the globe, but to have reached this far on with something as complex as Gigastack - without knowing each other beforehand and without ever meeting in real life – is incredible!
This really highlights the amazing story of Gigastack – taking an idea, bringing together the right people (virtually), maturing it in people’s home offices, to create something that looks almost ready for construction.
The entire technical team has put a part of their soul in the project to make it work. Endless Teams conversations, late night calls and messages to clear out any misunderstandings or frustrations. Phillips 66 with their expertise of how to run a mega-industrial plant, ITM Power in the scale up phase of their technology development feeding information in real time, Worley, trying to create a design based on information often not available, the Ørsted team in being flexible to assist in areas normally far outside their scope.
Amazing effort to everyone. A big thanks to everyone from me.
Meet the Orsted Team
Phil Gothard, Project Manager, Phillips 66
The Gigastack project launch, our first meeting to discuss this ground-breaking project and opportunity to meet the team, our new consortium colleagues with whom we would be working closely with developing this project and another stream on the refinery’s decarbonisation journey.
Who could have predicted the global pandemic that then halted the team meeting face-to-face?
“Sorry, we can’t hear you, I think you’re on mute?” The first few months passed getting to know each other virtually (whilst mastering Teams!), sharing expertise and progressing the project. Getting to know the different partners' specialist areas has been a steep learning curve, especially to understand the new aspects of electrolysers, we have learned a lot!
We have formed strong working relationships with our consortium partners and Worley, building trust, relationships and open communication has been key. We managed to squeeze a small face to face meeting in between lockdowns last year and hope to be able to meet the full team soon.
Consortium working has huge benefits of bringing the expertise of companies together and has resulted in something we can be proud of, something that will have such positive impacts on the region and technology that can be shared. Although the consortium consists of different companies, we all hold the same values and objectives to make a real difference.
Meet the Phillips 66 Team
Jamie McMaster, Project Manager, ITM Power
ITM are delighted to be developing the technology that will be at the core of what is currently the most advanced large-scale electrolyser project globally. A project that will help push what is possible both in the UK and global electrolyser market.
Working alongside project colleagues at P66, Ørsted, and Element Energy has been a deeply rewarding experience – one that has provided huge insights about the future energy demands of this country and how we can meet them. All of this whilst at the same time decarbonising our industry. I very much look forward to actually building Gigastack and demonstrating how electrolysers can be rapidly deployed to start decarbonising hard to abate sectors.
Meet the ITM Power Team
Art Parkinson, FEED Study Project Manager, Worley
Worley was asked by our long-term customer Phillips 66 to present our capability in green hydrogen in April 2020, a month into the first UK COVID lockdown.
Following a virtual presentation to Phillips 66, the technical manager asked me to call Brian Geertsen, the Orsted technical project manager. This was the first of many Teams calls on this project with Brian and other members of the Gigastack team.
The Gigastack Green Hydrogen project is about sustainability, water stewardship, circular economy, energy transition and decarbonization. Over 50 experts from Worley helped to bring the Gigastack project to life. This team was staffed from the UK’s Stockport, Glasgow and Grimsby offices. We also had specialists from our Antwerp, Madrid, Melbourne and Houston offices.
Meet the Worley Team
We used our energy, chemicals and resources experiences to undertake a water study on the Humber Refinery. This identified potential water savings or sources of water re-use that could be used to supply the electrolysers for making hydrogen. Four credible options were shortlisted and process schemes were developed to clean and desalinate the water to the stringent ultra-pure specification. We also evaluated for feasibility, sustainability and cost.
We were then asked to develop the design for the balance of plant, hydrogen purification and compression, utilities, offsites and integration into the Humber Refinery. At the start of the project, there wasn’t much information available as the electrolyser technology scale-up was still being researched and developed. It required close collaboration between us and the Consortium members to define the data required to design the facility.
We produced the 3D model in Optiplant, which allowed for easy reconfiguration of the site layout as the design evolved when more information became available. I was able to meet Brian ‘on-site’ several times in virtual reality. I still haven’t met Brian in person, but I know we would get on famously should we ever be able to meet up for a beer or go mountain biking together.
Our flexible approach and our excellent working relationships with the respective teams contributed to the success of this project. I’d like to thank everyone who put their hearts and souls into it and made it so enjoyable. One day we may even meet in person…