– The future looks very promising for us!

Valley Voice – a column where our cluster members are in focus. This week, we had a talk with Arild Selvig, CEO of ZEG Power about the energy transition. Selvig has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the energy industry, R&D, M&A, and commercial activities. 1. What are you doing right now? We have just […]

Valley Voice – a column where our cluster members are in focus. This week, we had a talk with Arild Selvig, CEO of ZEG Power about the energy transition. Selvig has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the energy industry, R&D, M&A, and commercial activities.

1. What are you doing right now?

We have just signed our first commercial contract for an H1 (1 tonne of produced hydrogen/day) plant producing clean hydrogen with integrated carbon capture. The client is with H2 Production, a subsidiary of CCB Energy Holding, and delivery is planned for late 2022 at Kolnes outside Bergen – an ideal sweet spot with adjacent access to both natural gas as the feedstock and CO2 transport, injection, and storage facilities through the Northern Lights projects currently under construction. Getting this delivery off on the right foot is critical for us. The technology is verified over many years using the test facility at IFE Kjeller, but the scale/capacity of our delivery is much greater than the scale we have been testing at IFE.

Another critical activity right now is to further scale up our technology to produce 15 tonnes of hydrogen/day (H15 plant) to meet other market segments with relevant clean hydrogen volumes. We have an LoI with CCB Energy Holding for this scale-up project, and we will kick off the joint work this summer. Scaling up will contribute to lower cost per kilogram produced hydrogen which is important to improve the competitiveness of our technology.

2. How is Zeg Power contributing to the Energy Transition?

Our technology enables the production of fuel cell quality hydrogen with carbon capture rates in excess of 90%. The integrated carbon capture means a cost-efficient production using non-toxic sorbent with a compact plant footprint. The system efficiency is also high compared to competing technologies. The CO2 is typically permanently stored underground, thus enabling the production of high-quality hydrogen with carbon capture. Also, in the case of using biogas as the feedstock, we are able to deliver climate-positive solutions with a negative CO2 footprint. The hydrogen produced in such a scenario is called “red hydrogen”, and we see a clear market interest for this solution.

3. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities in the future?

A focus area right now is to scale up our plant deliveries as part of the commercialization of our technology through continued R&D activities. We are growing, and to grow with quality in every step – be it people, supply chain, modularity of our products, HSE, or quality – is always a challenge, to get it right. We have a very competent organization today, and maintaining the onboarding of high-quality employees – both with respect to competence profile and personalities – is also one of the most important focus areas for me right now.

On the opportunity side, we see a significant growth market ahead of us for our solutions strongly supported by hydrogen demand growth projections by many analyst bureaus in Norway and internationally. Many Norwegian and international potential customers are now knocking on our door to learn more about ZEG, its people, and our capabilities. In addition to our signed delivery contract, We have recently signed several LoIs and MoUs to engage in maturing studies for specific client applications. With upscaling of our solutions, we will be able to provide solutions for competitive hydrogen production for emerging market segments like the maritime sector, lang-haul transportation by truck or train, and medium-scale industrial application. The future looks very promising for us!

4. What keeps you awake at night with regards to the energy transition?

I think we all share the concern that the transition propagates too slow to meet the established environmental-climate goals set by the EU and individual countries. Hydrogen is for sure going to be a significant part of the energy mix to meet the world’s energy demand projections and at the same time meet the climate and emission reduction targets.

We are ready to contribute, but the customer base and the logistics related to the cost-efficient transportation of hydrogen have to be worked on. Actually, in my view, the mid-and downstream side of the hydrogen value chain is more immature than the upstream part which ZEG represents. We are therefore very pleased to see that the Norwegian government has put #1 priority on the entire hydrogen value chain as part of Norway’s contribution to clean energy transition.

5. What is the most valuable about being a member of Energy Valley?

Energy Valley has changed a lot during the last 5 years and is now a significant cluster for energy transition companies in addition to more traditional Oil & Gas–based companies. We benefit in many aspects from being a member – both when it comes to sharing knowledge and ideas, corporations, and partnering within the cluster, and also when it comes to renting office facilities where we are co-located with other energy transition start-ups in the same building. We also enjoy many of the seminars and webinars that Energy Valley is setting up.

6. Is there any book that has inspired you in the way you lead?

This question brings me back to the mid 09s when I studied Master of Technology Management at Sloan School of Management under MIT in Boston. Peter Senge was one of our lecturers and he had at that time just recently written the book “The Fifth Discipline” about leadership and organization learning. The concept of “double-loop” learning was very intriguing where you create feedback loops within the organization to capture lesson-learned experiences and with that challenge the way you work. This means a continuous focus on “doing the right things” rather than “doing things right”.

Two other Markey books for me are probably “Built to last” and “From Good to Great” by Jim Collins. His research team explored – across industries – what are the key success criteria to grow and to maintain profitable growth over decades. One of the key findings in these books – which resonate well with my belief in sound leadership – is the slogan “get the right people on the bus, and THEN find out what to do”. In other words, quality people are the single most important criteria for success.

7. Which Energy Valley member do you want to pass the baton on to?

Lars Ole Bjørnsrud in TechnipFmc.

Thank you, Arild!