McDermott’s storage business, CB&I, will design and build two 500,000-gallon double-wall liquid hydrogen spheres for Plug Power Inc.’s new green hydrogen production facility in Genesee County, New York. The production facility, leveraging Plug Power’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser technology, is expected to produce 45 metric tons of green liquid hydrogen per day – making it the largest green hydrogen facility in North America.
The turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract for both spheres also includes insulation, testing and painting with field erection taking place at Plug Power’s 30-acre site at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park, also known as WNY STAMP.
“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,” says Cesar Canals, Senior Vice President, CB&I. “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.”
The stainless-steel inner sphere, which holds the liquid hydrogen, will measure nearly 52 feet in diameter with an internal design pressure of 30 pounds per square inch and a design temperature of negative 423° Fahrenheit. The outer sphere, which acts as an insulation container, will be fabricated using carbon steel with a diameter of nearly 60 feet.
“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,” says 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.”