Region’s First-of-Its-Kind Coal-Fired Plant to Be Powered by GE Technology
We all know that at 100 ⁰C under atmospheric pressure, water turns from a liquid to a gas, and that this steam can power all types of things, like engines and generators. But one way of increasing the process efficiency, i.e., getting more power out of the same amount of heat input, is to raise the steam temperature and pressure to reach “supercritical” conditions (above ~230 bar, i.e., a pressure 230 times higher than atmospheric pressure), where the steam reaches a single phase, neither liquid nor gas, but both merged. Pushing such steam power technology to “ultra” supercritical conditions (with steam temperature levels above 600 ⁰C) is what’s behind the first-of-its-kind, 2,400 megawatt (MW) Hassyan Clean Coal Independent Power Project (IPP) in Dubai.
Using such ultra-supercritical technology reliably is not easy and requires advanced knowledge of design, materials, manufacturing and commissioning for both boiler and steam turbine. However, doing this is crucial, because the higher you push water in this state, the more efficient you make the power plant, therefore the less coal you use and the smaller the environmental impact for each kWh reliably generated. That is how GE’s technology was selected to help the Hassyan steam power plant in the Middle East deliver best-in-class efficiency.
GE and Harbin Electric International signed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement for phase one of the project with Hassyan Energy Company, a joint venture between Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) (51%) and ACWA Power Harbin Holding Company (49%). The project is set to begin delivering the first 600 MW of power by March 2020, six months before the opening of Dubai Expo 2020.
What’s more, the Hassyan project will include GE’s advanced environmental control systems, which will enable the efficient capture of pollutants (NOx, SOx, dust) to achieve emission levels at stack equivalent to the NOx levels of modern gas-fired power plants. The Hassyan plant will meet levels way stricter than the emission limits set in the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) of the European Union and in the International Finance Corporation (IFC) guidelines, making it one of the cleanest coal-fired power plants in the world today. Last but not least, the plant is pre-engineered “CO2 capture-ready” enabling the possibility of future retrofit implementation of CO2-capture technology.
The project will help DEWA achieve the objectives outlined in Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050. This includes diversifying the source of power generation while pushing out environmentally friendly energy according to the following percentages: 25% solar energy, 7% nuclear energy, 7% clean coal and 61% natural gas by 2030.
Sacha Parneix, Commercial General Manager of GE’s Steam Power Systems for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region, said: “We are proud to showcase GE’s highly efficient ultra-supercritical coal technology in the Hassyan Clean Coal IPP. This best-in-class steam plant will help meet Dubai’s growing demand for efficient and reliable power, at very competitive costs and lower operating costs, while maintaining an exceptionally low environmental footprint.”
Phase 1 of the project consists of four units of 600 MW net power each. Following the delivery of the first unit in 2020, subsequent units will come on stream in March 2021, March 2022 and March 2023.