Apr 22, 2022

How does Valmet’s flow control business partner with customers in industrial gas?

William Powers
William Powers
Global Industry Manager

Valmet’s flow control business is the leading valve supplier in the industrial gas market, but with increases in green & blue hydrogen production, as well as more complex end customer requirements, staying ahead of the curve is a must for continued success. We asked William Powers, Industry Manager for Industrial Gas and LNG, Flow Control business line, to tell us more about the importance of valves in industrial gas (IG) applications, and how we partner with our customers.

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What is your background in flow control business?

My name is William Powers and I’m the Industry Manager for the IG and LNG industries at Flow Control business line, based in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. I have worked at Neles and its predecessors my entire career. And now, since the merger took place in April 1, in Valmet. I have worked as a Product Engineer, Project Quotation Team Lead and Global Key Account Manager (KAM). Now, in addition to my responsibilities as the Industry Manager, I also continue working closely with many of my long-running key customers.

Can you explain the importance of valves in industrial gas processing?

To understand the importance of valves in industrial gas processing, we need to understand where the demand is coming from. Refineries use hydrogen to lower the sulfur content of diesel fuel. Refinery demand for hydrogen has increased as demand for diesel fuel has risen both in North America and internationally, and as sulfur-content regulations have become more stringent.

Our ability to address the most demanding industrial gas applications and highest customer requirements, helps set us apart as a flow control solution provider.

As this demand has increased, a need for additional industrial plants to supply these refineries has also increased as refineries are not able to produce enough through steam methane reforming (SMR) of their gas output. Outside of refineries, the demand for green hydrogen production is growing to support the mobility transportation sector as fuel cell vehicles begin to utilize hydrogen to power electric cars & buses.

The need for valves is critical to effectively control the efficiency of the gas output and meet the global demand for hydrogen and other gas byproducts. Our valves are suited for all industrial gas processes, whether pressure swing absorption (PSA) skids, vacuum swing absorption (VSA) skids, air separation units (ASUs) or SMR systems.

What kind of valve solutions do we have in our flow control offering for the industrial gas industry?

We offer a wide range of robust and reliable valve solutions for the industry. Our main product offering consists of our high-performance Neles and Jamesbury butterfly valves, including the Jamesbury Wafer-Sphere 800 series butterfly valves with high cycle construction. In addition to a range of ball and segment valves for industrial gas, one more highlight in our portfolio includes our Neles globe valves designed for severe and cryogenic service. Our ability to address the most demanding industrial gas applications and highest customer requirements, helps set us apart as a flow control solution provider.

How do we partner with our IG customers? And how do they benefit from choosing us?

Valmet’s flow control business is an industry leader with plenty of experience in delivering valves to a wide range of gas applications around the world. We regularly partner with major players in industrial gas and are committed to providing our customers with a valve portfolio that meets their evolving needs.

We understand that the most critical challenge regarding the industrial gas processes is reliability. An interrupted gas supply will stop production and lead to a plant shutdown or disturb the bulk gas deliveries. This means ensuring maximized uptime and continuous, uninterrupted gas supply.

We have developed great relationships with our industrial gas customers over the years. Cooperation regularly includes various product development initiatives to stay up to speed with new design requirements. When choosing our flow control offering our customers choose a partner that never walks away from a challenge.

It is obvious that green hydrogen is trending almost everywhere. What does this mean for Valmet’s flow control business?

These are exciting times for industrial gas, and we are very much committed to staying at the front of the pack today and in the future.

As I’ve indicated, we are already a market leader in industrial gas, but green hydrogen is a new process where we can gain an even stronger foothold in the global hydrogen economy. Blue hydrogen is produced by steam methane reformation, but the emissions are curtailed using carbon capture and storage. This process could roughly halve the amount of carbon produced, but it's still far from emission-free.

Green hydrogen, on the other hand, could almost eliminate emissions all together by using renewable energy to power the electrolysis of water. The opportunity for green hydrogen to be applied across a wide range of sectors means there is a huge number of companies that could benefit from a burgeoning hydrogen fuel economy.

Even though green hydrogen is still a relatively new process in the global scale of production, we already have an installed base in this application and a dedicated global team to immediately support ongoing and new business opportunities as they arise. These are exciting times for industrial gas, and we are very much committed to staying at the front of the pack today and in the future.

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