Writing connections

I hadn’t the faintest idea why I’d been called into the meeting. ‘Join now’ said the pop-up. “Ah,” said my colleague from a distant branch of our group of companies. “You’re probably wondering why you are here.”

One of the pleasures of technical writing is learning about ground-breaking projects and technologies. One day its immersion cooling with the potential to half datacentre emissions and the next its floating wind turbines with the power to transform renewable energy. Although interesting, we are on the periphery, helping to promote technologies, rather than contributing directly to their development and deployment. But occasionally knowing a little about lots of things can help.

It turned out that my colleague was helping a with consents for a proposed cement plant. Reducing carbon emissions was key and, through my writing work, I knew a little about carbon capture technologies. I listened, made the relevant introductions and returned to my day job. Cement is a difficult-to-abate industry where burning green or blue hydrogen, or post-combustion carbon-capture and storage will be vital to ensure future competitiveness in the face of climbing emission levies. For instance, Norway announced a tax increase from $94 to $235 per tonne of CO2 by the end of the decade.[i] Canada announced a similar change in December and other countries are likely to follow.

A few weeks later, another colleague called. His customer had an ageing subsea export pipeline close to international borders. Did I know of any subsea pipeline inspection companies? I did – several, some with cutting-edge technologies (if you believe what we write!) that cuts survey time and thus saves money. Again, my role was only matchmaking, but it feels good to be useful, albeit in a small way. The two companies gave a joint workshop on pipeline inspection and repair to over 40 government delegates. The inspection company’s technical presentation was central to the workshop’s success and looks like leading to boots-on-the-ground work, or rather ROV-in-the water or pig-in-pipe work depending on the methods deployed.

[i] www.upstreamonline.com/environment/norway-oil-sector-braced-for-huge-carbon-tax-hike-as-new-climate-plan-hatched/2-1-941509