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Safe hydrogen: The crucial role of compliance when exporting equipment

Leanne Halliday, Hydrogen expert and Territory Manager at LRQA, explains why it is critical to understand the technical standards for Hydrogen and the evolving regulatory compliance needs of import countries or regions.

The hydrogen supply chain is expanding rapidly – What are the biggest risks for companies exporting Hydrogen equipment?

The equipment used in Hydrogen projects is not new, but the potential scale of the industry and hence the volume of equipment needed is new, leading to the introduction of new equipment manufacturers to the market or manufacturers changing their product lines and having to export to different locations.

Understanding the technical standards for Hydrogen and the evolving regulatory compliance needs of import countries or regions is critical – manufacturers have to be aware of these risks and updates to avoid cost and time overruns.  

With any expanding and in demand supply chain there is always the risk of focussing on speed over quality; one way to overcome this is by prioritising quality efforts. This can be achieved by building trust through vendor assessments prior to procurement and through a more concerted effort to address weaknesses identified during the assessment before manufacturing begins.   

When it comes to safer hydrogen equipment – What progress have you seen in recent years?

As the sector grows and matures at different rates around the world, we are seeing an increase in the introduction of standards, regulation adoption and development to meet the practical needs of the growing industry. One such standard is ISO 22734 for the construction, safety, and performance requirements of modular hydrogen generators, using electrochemical reactions to electrolyse water to produce hydrogen. This has been around since 2008, with the current version updated in 2019, but we are now seeing a real hunger for education and assessment against this standard as manufacturers and operators look to build trust in the equipment rollout. 

A pending risk still to be addressed in full is the competency gap to meet the sector needs, many people join the industry from the oil & gas and power sector, where there are significant overlaps, but Hydrogen is unique, and people need to enter the sector with curiosity. Although a workforce with hands-on Hydrogen experience and expertise is still limited given growing demand, many regulators and industry focus groups are providing more robust compliance pathway guidelines to avoid confusion and help bridge the gap, such as the safety code for green hydrogen workforce released in 2022 by the Queensland government and IGEM Hydrogen knowledge centre in the UK.

How can LRQA help?

LRQA is a leading global assurance partner, providing certification, inspection, and advisory services across the Hydrogen Supply chain. In the evolving and expanding supply chain, LRQA helps build trust with new suppliers and provides assurance that a product meets the regulatory and quality needs of the end user.

We operate globally and our experts have extensive knowledge of global and local industry standards and regulations we bring that knowledge and best practice to your project by developing roadmaps to support your journey to safe, complaint and high-quality projects and products.

In addition, we are using this expertise and knowledge to support new entrants with a route to market. We see many manufacturers entering the market that have worked in other industries and don’t necessarily have a background in hydrogen. We can help through our ‘Approval in Principle’ (AiP) process, which by reviewing risk profile, high-level designs, and applied standards, provides assurance that the product is fit to be used for hydrogen and complies with the regulatory environment.

Meet our Hydrogen Expert Team at World Hydrogen Summit 2023 in Rotterdam

Meet our Hydrogen Expert Team at World Hydrogen Summit 2023 in Rotterdam (9 to 11th May, Stand E19) and join Leanne Halliday for her technical presentation on “Ensuring compliance for equipment export” on 11th May, 5:45 pm.

Get in touch if you have any assurance needs or want to help build trust throughout your supply chain, with a robust and effective assurance programme based on your unique requirements.

Meet us at World Hydrogen Summit 2023

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