The stark warning from climate scientists: in order to stabilise the climate and limit the devastating associated physical risks, we must reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
This huge statement and the subsidies on offer have catalysed the efforts of organisations the world over to pursue the decarbonisation of their activities. The most pressing current change is seen across Europe, following the European Commission’s commitment to make the bloc carbon neutral within 30 years through the ‘European Green Deal’ plan.
To achieve this transition to carbon neutral status, it’s estimated that nearly €1 trillion will need to be invested every year - an average of €800 billion per annum in capital spending! Policy interventions and government finance will stimulate investment, while a net gain of five million jobs will be created - with up to 18 million people needing training and transition support.
The process engineering problem
Five highly pollutive energy and land use systems have been identified and must be cleaned up in order to slow down and halt climate change. To protect against a predicted future of dire physical disruption - including devastating loss of habitat and life.
These five industries that emit the most greenhouse gases across the EU include transportation (28%) and power (23%) and one of the trickiest areas to clean up is the industrial sector (26%). While the bulk of the emissions (80%) is caused by the combustion of fossil fuels
From the making of cement and chemicals, to the refining of oil and gas, process engineering generates huge levels of harmful emissions. One of the most emission-intensive processes is the manufacture of steel, where even the most efficient integrated coal-fired steelworks are still major contributors.
Galvanise your commitment to change
Steel is a vital engineering and construction material. It’s supported economic growth and provided many societal benefits over hundreds, even thousands, of years. But currently the industry is among the three biggest producers of carbon dioxide and must adapt and decarbonise to protect both the planet and its licence to continue operating in the long term.
At Coalesce Management Consulting (CMC) we’re delighted to be supporting one of Europe’s largest steel manufacturers in their ambitious decarbonisation activities. Working as their strategic capacity partner to identify any gaps in our client’s capacity to deliver their ambitious plan to convert their many huge furnaces to run on hydrogen.
Fernando Bellod is the Hague-based Director of Business Development for CMC. An industrial engineer with a keen interest in decarbonisation projects, he explained that his client’s “pioneering and exciting project” will see their existing brownfield, coal-fired furnaces adapted to run on green hydrogen - an alternative fuel source that creates no carbon emissions, extracted using renewable energy power generation.
He said: “Historically coal has been cheaper and more accessible - green hydrogen wasn’t a viable option as the technology wasn't there. But the times have changed and things are moving at great speed now. This is because of the huge pressure building from the EU, perhaps catalysed this year by our increasingly apparent over-reliance on fuel sources from outside of Europe, as highlighted during the Ukraine vs Russia conflict.
“Our key client has multiple sites and furnaces that produce steel for a variety of industries; it’s a massive challenge to understand exactly what is needed to successfully transition to green hydrogen. These complicated refit projects are expected to take between three and five years from pre-FEED design stage through to commissioning, will require much specialist engineering expertise and will cost billions of euros to complete.”
The scarcity of process engineering professionals
The role of Fernando’s team is to enhance the capability and capacity of his client’s internal teams with the best engineering and managerial talent available, throughout the project lifecycle. He explained that - given the pressing need for organisations across Europe to secure the best people, at a time when availability of the right skills and experience is already scarce across the continent - the competition is fierce.
He continued: “The many ongoing, industry-wide energy transition projects, coupled with the huge demand generated through the digitalisation and construction of SMART factories, are perhaps the two driving forces behind the massive skills shortage across Europe.
“Early in their process, we are helping our client as a strategic partner to secure the best specialist senior process engineers and project managers as well as senior mechanical, piping, civil and electrical engineers to bolster their own internal teams and offer them confidence that their ambitious plans are achievable.”
Fernando explained that more than 70% of projects fail, 30% run over budget and 20% run over plan, which is why CMC’s proven ability to deliver exceptional consultants from a skills, experience and cultural-fit perspective is so in demand right now. The project owner typically has a talented workforce, but there are in-demand skills that they often simply don’t have; they also prefer to hire and release these skilled people at key stages of a project - as it doesn't make sense to keep them on permanently.
Solving the people shaped problem
When a people-shaped project problem emerges you need the best consultants out there to galvanise the power of your internal resources. The only way to get things done is to work with recruitment and market experts, with access to more experts, who work for a company owned by...you guessed it - experts!
At CMC we have spent months, or years, tracking the key projects in your market while talking to the movers and shakers involved. Simultaneously preparing teams of highly skilled consultants, ready to hit the ground running. We’re the type of company that thrives on urgency and desperate ‘to the wire’ requirements...but we act proactively, not reactively.
We deliver high-value consulting services and solutions across the STEM specialisms of energy, life sciences and advanced engineering. Our truly ‘bespoke’, project and relationship-led approach means we will hit your requirements in the shortest amount of time. So you will maximise your return on investment, achieve your goals and unlock the full potential of your business.
Get in touch with Fernando today and he will talk you through how we can best support your energy transition project and solve any people-shaped business pressures you are facing.
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