GE Vernova & IHI Aiming to Develop Ammonia Gas Turbine System by 2030

Source: 1/24/2024, Location: Asia

- Under a Joint Development Agreement (JDA), GE Vernova and IHI will collaborate to develop a new gas turbine combustor capable to use ammonia for power generation compatible with GE Vernova’s 6F.03, 7F and 9F gas turbines
- Combustion testing will take place in IHI’s facilities in Japan
- This agreement is a development on the heels of earlier MOUs between the companies

Ammonia, a derivative from hydrogen, which can be carbon-free when combusted in a gas turbine, is expected to play an important role in the reduction of carbon emissions in the power sector for thermal power stations and dispatchable generation in support of the energy transition. GE Vernova’s Gas Power business (NYSE: GE) and IHI Corporation (IHI), today announced the recent signing of a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to progress to the next phase of technology and engineering for the development of a new gas turbine combustor capable of using ammonia as a viable fuel option for power generation compatible with GE Vernova’s 6F.03, 7F and 9F gas turbines.

This collaboration is a follow-up to earlier MOUs between the companies and builds upon IHI’s successful development of a 2-megawatt (MW) gas turbine using 100% liquid ammonia. This first-of-it’s kind project reduced greenhouse gases including nitrous oxide (N2O) generated by more than 99% with the combustion of ammonia.

“Following two years of joint studies on the economics of the ammonia value chain, we are now thrilled to ink a new chapter in our collaboration with IHI and proceed to the next phase of technology and engineering as agreed in our Ammonia Roadmap to develop decarbonization pathways that can future-proof existing investments in power generation,” said Jeffrey Goldmeer, GE Vernova Director of Hydrogen Value Chain. “With GE Vernova’s expertise in engineering and manufacturing of gas turbine combustion systems and balance of plant systems, and IHI’s know-how in ammonia combustion technology, we’ll be focused on the technological development and technical deliverables, aiming for the validation of the combustion technology in the next two years, and to a potential commercially available product by 2030.”

In this engineering phase, combustion technology concepts will be evaluated for their ability to meet key operational requirements and the impact on the entire power plant. GE Vernova and IHI plan to develop a two-stage combustor configured to burn up to 100% ammonia to comply with emission requirements. Combustion testing for the maturation of the new combustor design will take place in IHI’s facilities in Japan.

In addition to installation for new builds, the new combustor is expected to offer an alternative path to decarbonize existing gas turbine power plants. Without replacing the existing gas turbine, power plants operating on conventional fuels can be upgraded to operate on fuel that does not produce carbon emissions when combusted by simply changing the natural gas combustor to a new ammonia combustor with minimum upgrades to the fuel system and associated balance of plant systems.

As anticipated in the October 2023 three-way MOU between Sembcorp, IHI, and GE Vernova, the potential ammonia combustor retrofitting can be explored at Sembcorp’s Sakra power plant in Singapore powered by GE Vernova’s 9F gas turbine. The project will potentially assist Sembcorp to generate low-carbon energy from its existing power plant assets and support Singapore’s efforts to diversify its energy sources and decarbonize the power sector. This is also expected to bolster industry confidence for the development of an ammonia value chain in Singapore.

“This joint development agreement with GE Vernova marks a milestone in decarbonization towards a more sustainable future with the creation of an ammonia value chain” said Kensuke Yamamoto, IHI VP of Business Development HQ’s and GM of Ammonia Value Chain Project Department. “Among the various hydrogen carriers, ammonia represents a truly viable pathway to decarbonization for fuel importers like Japan. Ammonia is characterized by high volumetric hydrogen density, and has well-established handling infrastructure deployed globally. IHI’s ammonia combustion technologies can enable the direct use of ammonia as a carbon neutral fuel. This joint development with GE Vernova to decarbonize utility scale power generation across the world is part of our mission to develop an ammonia value chain to accelerate the global transition to Net Zero.”

Notes to editors
Ammonia is utilized today in industrial applications such as fertilizer, chemical raw material. When used as a carrier for hydrogen, ammonia enables an efficient, lower-cost transport and storage. In addition, ammonia is expected to be utilized directly in power generation as a carbon-free fuel, since ammonia contains no carbon, it does not emit carbon dioxide when burned and may therefore enhance the power sector’s efforts in reducing carbon emissions.

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