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McDermott's CB&I to construct spheres for green hydrogen plant in New York

CB&I, the storage business of McDermott, has been appointed to design and construct two 500,000-gallon double-wall liquid hydrogen spheres for Plug Power’s new green hydrogen production facility in Genesee County, New York.

Leveraging Plug Power's proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer technology, the production facility is expected to generate 45 metric tonnes of green liquid hydrogen daily. Once operational, this is claimed to become the largest green hydrogen facility in North America.

This turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract for both spheres also covers insulation, testing and painting with field erection being carried out at Plug Power's 30-acre site at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park, which is also called as WNY STAMP.

CB&I senior vice president Cesar Canals said: "There are countless companies talking about liquid hydrogen storage, but CB&I leads the industry in the timely mechanical completion for projects of this scale and significance.

"Plug Power is the single largest purchaser of liquid hydrogen in the world, and we are excited to be supporting them on this significant project."

This stainless-steel inner sphere will measure almost 52ft in diameter with an internal design pressure of 30 pounds per square inch and a design temperature of negative 423 degrees Fahrenheit. It can hold the liquid hydrogen.

Serving as an insulation container, the outer sphere will be fabricated using carbon steel with a diameter of almost 60ft.

Canals added: "Insulation is a critical component of any double-wall sphere and CB&I is one of the only contractors in the country with an Insulation Betterment Center dedicated to achieving the best designs for the quality and longevity of any insulation system," said Canals. "Our insulation technology experts are involved from the start of any liquid hydrogen storage project to ensure that these systems achieve optimal thermal performance."

This project, for which final investment decision has been taken, is presently under construction.


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