WOOD has appointed a head of hydrogen in a move that underlines its belief in the important role the fuel could play in the drive to reduce emissions around the world.

The Aberdeen-based engineering giant has recruited Josh Carmichael to fill the newly-crated post of vice president of hydrogen.

The company said Mr Carmichael will lead its global hydrogen drive, working with clients, industry partners and government authorities to develop the growing hydrogen sector.

It noted: “With interest in hydrogen gaining global momentum, Josh’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for Wood.”

Mr Carmichael will have a focus on developing Wood’s expertise in ‘green’ hydrogen, which can be produced from water using electrolysis.

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Led by chief executive Robin Watson, Wood believes it is well placed to capitalise on growing interest in hydrogen as an alternative to burning fossil fuels.

The company noted it has been supplying hydrogen production units globally for more than 60 years. It has developed expertise in carbon capture and storage technology under Mr Watson’s drive to reduce the company’s reliance on the oil services market in which it made its name. CCS facilities could be used to support the production of so-called blue hydrogen, which involves extracting carbon from natural gas.

Wood said Mr Carmichael brings extensive knowledge of hydrogen gained working in senior positions with a range of organisations.

Most recently he led hydrogen and battery projects in the Netherlands for Transdev, which operates trains and electric buses.

As director of the low carbon economy unit in South Australia, Mr Carmichael developed a green hydrogen investment roadmap for the state.

Mr Carmichael grew up in Australia. He has a degree in international business from the University of South Australia and a masters in business studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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He is based in the Dutch city of Utrecht, which is close to hydrogen hubs in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Wood is playing an important role in the landmark Humber Zero project in England. It is developing the master plan and early design for the programme, which is expected to feature facilities for the production of green and blue hydrogen and for carbon capture and storage.

It recently produced designs for a green hydrogen production system at Machrihanish Airbase on the Kintyre Peninsula.