Skip to main content
The energy transition is what we make of it. Interview with Laure Mandrou, Senior Vice President Carbon-Free Solutions
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Reading time: 5 minutes

The energy transition is what we make of it. To make an impact, a significant amount of innovation needs to be brought to market fast!

Interview with Laure Mandrou, Senior Vice President Carbon-Free Solutions

Scroll down for more

Laure Mandrou is Senior Vice President Carbon-Free Solutions of Technip Energies. Laure joined the company in 2022. With over 20 years in the Energy industry, she is an experienced innovator on a global scale.

Carbon-Free Solutions covers so many different markets and technologies, from floating offshore wind to carbon capture and storage, green hydrogen and power-to-X. What do they have in common and how can Technip Energies make a difference?

The energy transition is at the heart of the global energy dialog, and vision, innovation and commitment are required to accelerate the solutions that are so critical to tackle the biggest challenge of our generation.

At T.EN, we decided to dedicate our talents and resources, and leverage our 60 years of experience in the engineering and execution of industrial projects, to make a difference fast.

During our proud and long history, we have perfected technology, engineering, project and operational skills that are now vital to the acceleration and implementation of clean energy, notably with decarbonization, hydrogen and renewables.

Specifically with the carbon-free solutions business line, we focus on some of the most critical and nascent energy transition sectors: carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), green hydrogen and power-to-X (PtX), floating offshore wind, nuclear, and energy transition critical metals such as lithium. And the scale of the challenge is herculean.

CCUS capacity today is around 45 million tons per annum (Mtpa). By 2030, it must reach 1.3 gigatons per annum to meet Net Zero by 2050 targets according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)! This means a 30-fold expansion in eight years, which is no time at all for those large projects.

Again, for green hydrogen, the world has around 400MW in operation today, that must be multiplied by 500 by 2030 to reach 240GW.

Similar massive ramp-ups are required in other businesses such as for floating offshore wind.

How do you leverage Technip Energies’ resources to build a successful business? Can you provide some examples?

We have a pool of very talented, experienced, and innovative people, with recognized multi-technical skills and a global footprint. We have the ambition and the drive to establish the most comprehensive energy transition offering backed by a worldwide track record and an unparalleled coverage of the entire project cycle: from early inception with our consulting services to conceptual engineering, execution, commissioning, and operations & maintenance (O&M).

In carbon capture and storage, T.EN has been providing natural gas decarbonization solutions for many years. We are now actively transposing these solutions to the rest of the hard-to-abate industries that have to start their decarbonization journey, such as power, waste-to-energy, cement and steel.

As an example, in mid-2022 we kicked off the execution phase of the world-first waste-to-energy carbon capture and storage plant in the city of Oslo, Norway with our client Hafslund Oslo Celsio. Together with Celsio and Shell, we validated the suitability of Shell Cansolv post-combustion carbon capture technology for this novel waste-to-energy application and scaled it up to a full industrial size. Ultimately, this world-first plant will represent a tangible 17 percent reduction in carbon emissions for the city of Oslo.

We are also currently expanding ExxonMobil’s LaBarge carbon capture plant in Wyoming USA, which is the largest today, by adding an extra one million tons of CO2 capacity per year to the 6 million tons existing facility.

Focusing on hydrogen, we are recognized for our deep understanding of industrial molecules and particularly of the hydrogen molecule and its derivatives – having designed today 30 percent of the world hydrogen installed base – and we are able to provide the bridge between the electrons and the molecules. This provides a key differentiation to generate green hydrogen from electrolysis in industrial and utility scale quantities, and we have been paving the way for this fast-growing green hydrogen and PtX nascent market.

We are proud, amongst other projects, of deploying green hydrogen capacity in Australia with our partner Monford, and together with our customer ENGIE, where we will be delivering 640 tpa of green hydrogen from a photovoltaic farm and an electrolysis plant, that will ultimately decarbonize Pilbara ammonia plant.

Focusing on renewable energy, 80 percent of all the offshore wind resources is in waters 60 meters and deeper, where floating offshore wind structures (floaters) will be required. We leverage here our strong legacy in offshore technology and offshore project execution (notably with deepwater structures, mooring solutions and marine operations) and talent pool of over 600 marine and offshore engineers, that we transpose to the brand new floating offshore wind sector with our in-house INO15TM floater.

What are the key challenges for these projects?

The key challenge with the energy transition projects is to “get them off the starting line” or past the financial investment decision (FID), and into the execution phase.

This challenge is for our industry at large, the emitters, solutions providers, project developers and regulators, and thus in part for Technip Energies. The energy transition applications are new – there are many world-first implementations: Celsio’s waste-to-energy carbon capture plant in Oslo. Technologies, such as post-combustion carbon capture and electrolyzers for green hydrogen are also new to industrial and utility scale deployments. It makes the technical and financial de-risking of the energy transition projects complicated, and many opportunities are unable to move forward post-FID.

At the same time, the determination of our communities and societies to decarbonize is real and strong, and a substantial amount of subsidies, especially in certain geographies, support the take-off of those world-first energy transition projects to “get them off the starting line”, which ultimately will bring them mainstream and self-sustained in the next decades.

At T.EN, we have a critical role to play with the enablement and acceleration of those decarbonization solutions. We are a technology company and we have been significantly increasing our investment towards energy transition related technology, with the goal to remain at the forefront of at-scale, productized and best-in-class performance solutions.

At the same time, we strongly believe that partnerships are key to foster the innovation and alignment required to accelerate the energy transition, and we have been actively seeking out and nurturing strategic alliances to do so. For instance, we recently strengthened our already 10-year long strategic alliance with Shell Cansolv, one of the few mature post-combustion carbon technologies, to address together the rapidly growing carbon capture and storage market and bring efficient and industrial-scale solutions.