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Renewable Energy Transition
• Renewable Diesel and Natural Gas
• Carbon Dioxide Transportation and Sequestration
SPEC Services has provided services for the safe, reliable, and efficient development and optimization of facilities to provide fuel to the western and southwestern USA for over 40 years. We apply this expertise to plan and support the development of renewable energy systems and carbon reduction solutions and projects, both completely new systems and adaptations of existing facilities to add renewable energy capabilities.
We are specialists in planning, engineering, and project management services for liquid and gaseous fuel systems, including oil and gas production, natural gas, petroleum, and petroleum products. Similar to our work with traditional hydrocarbon fuels, we assist our renewable energy and carbon reduction clients in front-end planning and development to determine alternatives and the optimum solution, followed by effective detailed engineering, design, and execution to achieve project success. Our project experience, which is directly applicable to the transition to renewable energy and decarbonization, includes hydrogen production and pipeline systems, carbon dioxide pipelines, biomethane systems, and storage, transportation, and blending systems for ethanol, biodiesel, and renewable diesel.
System Planning & Integration
SPEC provides planning and engineering for design, and technical support for the development of hydrogen pipeline systems. We also are applying our broad technical expertise to help plan the development of systems for green hydrogen production, transportation, storage, and delivery to serve California. We were a champion-level contributor to the HyDeal LA (now HyBuild) Phase 1 and Phase 2 initiatives, which analyzed and provided support information for the development and application of green hydrogen at scale in southern California. The assessment and analysis in these studies, and in similar hydrogen project planning and development projects performed by SPEC, includes assessment of all parts of the green hydrogen production, transportation, storage, and delivery systems, including solar and wind generation of electrical power, production of hydrogen by electrolysis, compression, storage, pipeline transportation, and delivery to meet project demand.
SPEC has a long history of pipeline planning, engineering, and design of hydrogen pipelines, supporting the development of interconnecting hydrogen pipeline systems to supply hydrogen to southern California refineries. This work covers a span of 40 years, since the design of our first hydrogen pipeline, and continues today.
Conversion of Existing Facilities
SPEC provides engineering and project leadership for identification and conversion of existing pipeline systems and infrastructure to hydrogen service, which often includes permit support, records investigation, physical modifications, and pipeline cleaning and pressure testing.
SPEC has long history of providing a wide range of engineering and technical services for the liquid transportation fuels industry, including new pipeline systems, storage terminals expansions, truck and rail loading/offloading systems, and ship loading/offloading systems (see Liquid Storage & Distribution for a more detailed description of these services). SPEC has extensive experience in expanding and adapting existing fuel terminals and pipelines to reliably meet the operational needs of new fuels, new regulations, and changing market supply and demand. We draw on our deep expertise in fuel terminal and pipeline facilities, including renewable/biodiesel facilities, and our familiarity with existing facilities to create the most cost-effective solution for the intended operational capabilities. This includes optimum reuse and application of existing pumps, piping, storage, and loading systems to minimize the client’s development costs to handle renewable and biodiesel.
Offloading, Storage, Blending, and Loading
Renewable fuels are delivered to facilities via pipelines, rail, ships, and trucks. SPEC has planned and designed systems which include all of them. Each product has special requirements to maintain product quality, including during receipt, storage, and blending and shipping to pipelines, ships, and trucks. Material selection can be critical for system integrity and longevity. SPEC has completed renewable diesel projects for multiple clients and at multiple facilities throughout California over the last five years. Customized solutions include loading/offloading of renewable and biodiesel, incorporating these fuel streams with minimum impact to existing operations, including integration with and/or upgrade of existing loading control systems (Accuload, Toptech, other). Substantial cost reduction has been achieved by minimizing the additional equipment required, often repurposing existing loading/offloading arms and using common pumps for multiple lanes.
Refinery and Process Facilities
SPEC provides a broad range of engineering, design, and project services to multiple California refineries, sustaining and enhancing operations and providing new and modified operating capabilities. Our combination of experience working within refineries and our expertise with pipeline and terminal logistics has proven to be especially valuable in helping refiners receive renewable feedstocks and produce and deliver renewable fuels.
Renewable Natural Gas
SPEC has extensive experience with natural gas utility pipelines and systems, and has designed multiple systems for the injection of renewable natural gas into operating gas utility pipeline systems. These systems include automated gas quality control and measurement per utility standards, integrated with the renewable gas production facilities.
The need to reduce greenhouse gas is driving initiatives and projects to capture and sequester carbon dioxide from power plants, refineries, and other large consumers of natural gas. SPEC has provided pipeline planning and design services for multiple initiatives to transport captured carbon dioxide from power plants to oil production fields or other CO₂ sequestration sites. These projects include assisting with preliminary engineering studies for project development, permitting and approval, to be followed by detailed engineering, design, and project execution.
SPEC provides CO₂-specific transportation system expertise in the following areas:
• Pipeline Route Evaluation
• Dense Phase vs. Vapor Phase Evaluation
• Dynamic Pipeline Hydraulic Modeling
• Compressor and Pump Specification and Selection
• Composition Sensitivity Analysis and Treatment Recommendations
• Pipeline Conversion Studies
• Leak Detection
• Material Selection
Risk Analysis and Route Evaluation
SPEC Services is supporting clients with the development and assessment of pipeline routes selected to reduce risk and facilitate project permitting and approvals. SPEC performs preliminary risk evaluation and mitigation assessments, and supports subsequent assessments by specialists in CO₂ modeling and risk. SPEC also provides pipeline conversion studies to evaluate when existing pipelines may be used as part of the transportation solution.
The project plan and detailed design is based on the specific design requirements for CO₂ pipelines, including operational considerations of dense phase vs. vapor phase pipelines, risk assessment, metallurgical requirements, crack arrestor location and design, etc. While taking into account the factors that are unique to CO₂, SPEC applies its experience and expertise in planning, engineering, design, route selection, and permitting for high pressure, welded steel pipelines in the development of the CO₂ pipeline systems