Addressing the complexities of a hydrogen plant
Hydrogen has enormous potential to accelerate the journey to a low carbon economy.
It can be produced from many different sources and methods. The two most common methods for producing hydrogen are steam-methane reforming and electrolysis (splitting water with electricity). A hydrogen production plant consists of not only hydrogen production process, but a series of interconnected process unit operations to achieve the target product range. Similar to a chemical processing plant, the unit operations are housed separately providing segregation for safety, operational and maintenance capability with incident management and shutdown.
For the Port of Newcastle Hydrogen Hub, we integrated different units of operations including electrolysers, compressors, ammonia synthesis, storage, cooling plant, water treatment plant and fire suppression system with allowance for flexibility, maintainability and operational efficiency during process design. Our specialised team of integrated process engineering and process safety engineers have mitigated the fire and explosion risks by choosing the safe location of each unit of operation and contributed to a positive social licence to operate.
How to make hydrogen processes safe?
Hydrogen is a versatile fuel which is safe to store and transport using either compression, derivative product technologies such as ammonia, or by refrigerating and liquefying. However, a safe economical storage and transportation of hydrogen remains an ongoing challenge.
As seen in the maritime sector, hydrogen and ammonia are being considered as decarbonised energy vectors and as transport fuels.
Hydrogen has been around for a long time used in petrochemical and industrial facilities. However, there is limited published Australian Standards on hydrogen storage and handling, nor specifications for refuelling stations. The requirements for storage and handling of ammonia are well understood in the industry and specified within the Australian Standards.
Our team of specialised professionals have more than 100 years of safety assurance experience to conduct safety studies for large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production, storage and export facility, considering potential hazards, their mitigation and requirements for spatial segregation from other industries and vulnerable receptors.
Combined with broad process engineering, process safety and multi-disciplinary engineering design skillsets, WSP provides trusted services to a wide range of industry sectors.
With experience spanning advisory services, planning, mass and energy balance, process design, equipment selection, process control and commissioning, our team offers extensive cross-sector, deep process consulting and multi-disciplinary engineering expertise.
Leveraging our extensive knowledge and industry experience, we help our clients make efficient and improved decisions that deliver both environmental and economic benefits. Our team provides process engineering and process safety services across resources and power, defence, transport, water and wastewater, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, healthcare and industrial plants.
We offer consulting and engineering services within multiple disciplines that span all stages of a project – from strategic studies, concept design and productivity analysis to serving as an owner’s engineer at each stage of an EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management) contract.
- Process design
- Mass and energy balance
- Thermodynamics and fluid mechanics
- Reaction chemistry
- Process Modelling
- Block flow diagram, process flow diagram and process and instrumentation diagram
- Process control, philosophy, sequence, trip & alarm
- Process plant layout
- Pipe detailing, stress analysis
- Tender specifications
- Process manual, description and SOP development
- Testing and commissioning
- Due diligence
- Owner’s engineer
- Multi-disciplinary engineering management, procurement, cost estimation and project management
- HAZID, HAZOP, LOPA, SIS, SIL
- Functional safety
- Fire, explosion and toxicity modelling
- Preliminary hazard analysis
- Quantitate risk assessment
- Dangerous goods
- Hazardous area classification