GE Vernova and IHI Forge Ahead in Ammonia Combustion Technology

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GEV Gas Turbine GE Vernova IHI

GE Vernova and IHI Corporation, 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.

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.

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 its 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.”

About IHI

IHI is a preeminent Japanese integrated heavy industry group that originated with the establishment of the nation’s first modern shipyard in 1853. It leveraged its shipbuilding technology to expand into onshore machinery, bridge, plant, aero-engine, and other manufacturing fields. IHI has provided an array of solutions in recent years.

These are principally in the Resource, Energy and Environment; Social Infrastructure and Offshore Facilities; Industrial Systems and General-Purpose Machinery; and Aero Engine, Space and Defense business segments. In power generation, the Company manufactures boilers and gas turbines for thermal power plants. It is developing technology for ammonia firing and is constructing carbon-free fuel ammonia supply chain to help decarbonize the economy. 

About GE Vernova

GE Vernova is a planned, purpose-built global energy company that includes Power, Wind, and Electrification businesses and is supported by its accelerator businesses of Advanced Research, Consulting Services, and Financial Services. Building on over 130 years of experience tackling the world’s challenges, GE Vernova is uniquely positioned to help lead the energy transition by continuing to electrify the world while simultaneously working to decarbonize it. GE Vernova helps customers power economies and deliver electricity that is vital to health, safety, security, and improved quality of life.

GE Vernova is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., with more than 80,000 employees across 100+ countries around the world. GE Vernova’s Gas Power business engineers advanced, efficient natural gas-powered technologies and services, along with decarbonization solutions that aim to help electrify a lower carbon future.

Source GE Vernova