One of Singapore’s largest power plants is set to become the large-scale proving ground for using ammonia as a carbon-free combustion fuel for new and existing gas turbines.

The challenge

Countries with limited direct access to low-carbon power could use ammonia in gas turbines to produce electricity. But while ammonia theoretically offers much promise as a fuel source—because of its higher hydrogen content and liquefication temperature—it has yet to be tested on a large scale in a real-world environment.

The solution

Thanks to a new MoU between GE Vernova, Sembcorp, and IHI Corporation, two GE Vernova 9F gas turbines at Sembcorp’s Singapore-based Sakra cogeneration power plant plan to be retrofitted with ammonia-firing capabilities. If this large-scale experiment proves successful, it could pave the way for worldwide adoption of a lower-cost, lower-carbon alternative fuel for gas turbines.


Tremendous potential for power that produces less carbon emissions


We are now taking the next step to support decarbonization efforts through the potential retrofitting of the [Sembcorp Sakra] power plant with ammonia-firing capabilities. As a pioneer in adopting technologies to reduce [our] carbon footprint, [we remain] committed to decarbonizing the power generation sector and driving energy transition.

Koh Chiap Khiong

CEO, Singapore & Southeast Asia, Sembcorp Industries


Using ammonia as a fuel source in gas turbines shows great promise in the quest to produce low-carbon-emission electricity. It contains a high hydrogen content and is easier to liquefy than hydrogen. Plus, if it is synthesized from hydrogen for use in gas turbines, ammonia can be combusted, directly fed into, or co-fired at existing coal plants or gas turbines.

In 2021, GE Vernova announced an MoU with IHI Corporation—a Japanese heavy industry firm—to assess using ammonia as a carbon-free combustion fuel for both existing and new gas turbines. In 2022, IHI successfully mounted and tested a newly developed combustor on a 2000 KW gas turbine at its Yokohama Works. This turbine successfully achieved a greenhouse gas reduction rate greater than 99% when mono-firing liquid ammonia.

On the heels of this successful operation, GE Vernova and IHI signed a new non-binding MoU with Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries to test the potential of ammonia firing gas turbines on a much larger scale. Since going online in 2001, Sembcorp’s Sakra cogeneration plant has used two GE Vernova 9F gas turbines to produce up to 815 MW of electricity.

Under this MoU, this plant is expected to be retrofitted with the IHI combustor to generate lower carbon energy using the plant’s existing 9F turbines, supporting Singapore’s efforts to diversify its energy sources and decarbonize its power sector.

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