Energy transition and the key role of project management

Everyone within the chemical industry agrees: they need to get started on the energy transition and carbon reduction! We are therefore seeing inspiring examples of innovative projects in the field of decarbonisation. The success factor? The right approach to project management.

The Climate Agreement is clear: by 2030 we must have 49% less CO2 emissions compared to the base year of 1990, and 95% less CO2 emissions by 2050. To achieve this, we at KH Engineering have been working on the energy transition and decarbonisation in particular for quite some time in different industries. Our projects include CO2 capture or heat transfer from industry to district heating. In addition, our design has enabled the retrieval of raw materials and energy from existing processes at various asset owners.

On the road to decarbonisation: these are the stumbling blocks

If the chemical process industry embraces a different way of producing, it can have a gigantic positive impact on the world. In our new white paper, we describe a number of inspiring cases in the field of decarbonisation. This transformation of an entire industry is obviously not happening without its growing pains…

In practice, we see that organisations encounter a number of stumbling blocks on their way to reducing CO2 emissions:

1. Availability and knowledge of new technologies in the field of decarbonisation are lacking. This is because it involves specific and relatively new applications such as electrification of processes that were previously natural gas-fired or electrolysis for the production of hydrogen, methanol and waste plastic liquefaction.

2. Because of its strict focus on manageability, the industry is inherently conservative. Organisations are reluctant to incorporate new technology into existing processes. As a result, there is a tendency to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

3. Organisations within the chemical industry are intimately enchained in large supply chains. To bring decarbonisation projects to a successful conclusion, it is necessary for the most diverse organisations – large and small, startup and corporate, and so on – to work together optimally. Corporate cultures may well clash.

The connecting factor of project management

To guide organisations past these obstacles to a safe final destination, an experienced project manager is needed. He or she not only has substantive knowledge of innovative techniques, but also knows how the new technique can be fitted into the existing processes. The right project manager is also the link between all those involved.

That’s quite a list of requirements – and yet many organisations have had to downsize in recent years. That’s why they often choose an external expert who can devote himself completely to the task at hand. After all, decarbonisation is too important to leave to chance.

Want to know more about the success factors of an innovative decarbonisation project? Download the white paper ‘Industrial decarbonisation: this is the secret of successful projects’ here.

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