Management of Change When Repurposing Existing Infrastructure to Hydrogen
Proceedings Publication Date
Neil Gallon
Neil Gallon, Hannah Shaw, Chimwemwe Kamwela, Toni Needham, Bob Conder
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For the Energy Transition to become a reality within the desired timescales and existing financial constraints existing assets will need to be repurposed from hydrocarbon to future fuels (including hydrogen) service. The extensive existing hydrogen industry is proof that this is feasible in principle, however such wide-scale repurposing will introduce some major challenges for operators in terms of safely managing this change. In those relatively few cases where assets have already been repurposed, this appears to have been done by performing in-depth asset-specific analyses considering operational, inspection, integrity and materials aspects. Conversion of the entire network means that conducting such asset-specific assessments will be extremely time-consuming and expensive. Robust simplified Management of Change (Moc) guidelines would therefore be a great benefit to the industry.

To address this MoC issue the Energy Institute has contracted with ROSEN to initiate a scope of work to identify existing gaps in industry knowledge for safely managing repurposing, together with a review of publicly available current projects which aim to address these gaps. The work is applicable on the onshore transmission and distribution and offshore pipeline network, and considers the following:

  • Effect of hydrogen on materials
  • Operation of a hydrogen network
  • Inspection, maintenance and integrity management requirements

Two reports have been generated, the first was published in 2022 and highlights existing gaps, the second report was published in 2023 and identifies existing work which aims to address these gaps.

This paper will summarise the findings of this initial work, highlight those gaps which are considered still to remain, and offer guidance on how to develop MoC guidelines in the future for repurposing.

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