GE’s Hydrogen–Natural Gas Powered Project Gets a Thumbs Up in Egypt

GE’s Hydrogen–Natural Gas Powered Project Gets a Thumbs Up in Egypt

/ Technology & Smart Cities / Thursday, 17 November 2022 06:46

The successful operation of a GE LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine on hydrogen–natural gas blended fuel at the Sharm El Sheikh Power Plant has been announced by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, minister of electricity and renewable energy of Egypt. The demonstrations of the unit running on the mixed fuel ran at different times during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC’s) 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27), termed the “Implementation COP.”

As a proof of concept, the project illustrates the possibility of the generation of lower carbon, reliable, on-demand power by burning hydrogen-blended fuels in gas turbines. The project was executed less than five months after a strategic cooperation agreement (SCA) was signed among the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC), GE, Hassan Allam Construction and PGESCO. It is the first time that GE’s LM6000 gas turbine has been run on hydrogen-blended fuel on the African continent.

Commenting on the development, El-Markabi said, “The combination of EEHC’s commitment and facilitation, GE’s global, industry-leading expertise in hydrogen-fueled power projects, and Hassan Allam and PGESCO’s strong on-the-ground construction and engineering capabilities led to the extraordinary achievement of the safe, on-time and successful completion of this demonstration pilot.”

EEHC owns and operates the Sharm El Sheikh Power Plant. GE led the conception, planning, and execution of the project, as well as the building of the hydrogen-natural gas blending system. Hassan Allam supplied the manpower and equipment needed for installation, related civil works, the hydrogen needed for testing and the piping and cabling system that transported hydrogen to the mixing skid and the turbine. PGESCO helped design the project and provided engineering expertise.

Meanwhile, Joseph Anis, president and CEO of GE Gas Power in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, “GE is committed to collaborating closely with the government of Egypt, as well as other customers and partners, to address the climate challenge. We were honored to design the overall hydrogen-natural gas demonstration project at Sharm El Sheikh [and] identify various parties to lead engineering, procurement, construction, hydrogen supply, safety initiatives, and other works.

GE boasts 30 years of experience with more than 100 gas turbines that have operated on fuels that contain hydrogen globally, accumulating more than 8 million operating hours.

“Our contribution to the hydrogen-natural gas fuel blend project was comprehensive, covering the critical areas of procurement, construction, and electromechanical scopes. With COP27 being hosted in Egypt, we are looking forward to the role the country will play in building global sustainability platforms, in which Hassan Allam Holding will be a key player,” said Hassan Allam, CEO of Hassan Allam Holding.

The project illustrates that gas turbines offer great potential to operate at lower carbon intensity and can complement the growth of variable renewables by providing on demand electricity to firm the grid. The safe execution of the demonstration also tells us that while hydrogen does present certain unique challenges with transportation, storage and use at the site for power generation, those obstacles can be overcome with the right arrangements, trainings and precautions. 

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