Ammonia combustion for power generation: updates from Korea, Malaysia and Singapore

Korea: gas & coal co-firing

In January this year, SK E&S (an LNG-centric subsidiary of SK Inc.), formed a joint venture with Plug Power to build an electrolyser gigafactory in Incheon. The joint venture (known as SK Plug Hyverse) will now take a step further, signing a new agreement to deploy its PEM electrolysers overseas, and then supply Korea South-East Power (KOEN) with renewable hydrogen & ammonia imports for co-firing at KOEN’s natural gas and coal based thermal power plants. KOEN generates about 10% of electricity supply in South Korea.

Utilization of hydrogen and ammonia is crucial for achieving national carbon neutrality and delaying the stranded capitalization of thermal power producing facilities. Given the local production capability of hydrogen and ammonia, it is vital to establish a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain from abroad. Using this MOU as an opportunity, we will reliably generate hydrogen and ammonia overseas with SK E&S, a leading firm in the hydrogen economy, and introduce it into Korea to become an energy company leading the national carbon neutrality and the hydrogen economy.

Korea South-East Power VP Sang-pyo Eun in Plug Power’s official press release, 18 Aug 2022

Malaysia: successful coal co-firing trials

TNB officials inspect the test rig and co-combustion results in Kajang, Malaysia. Source: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
Click to learn more. TNB officials inspect the test rig and co-combustion results in Kajang, Malaysia. Source: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

Malaysian power utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), IHI Power Systems and Petronas announced they have successfully conducted 60% ammonia co-combustion trials (click to download pdf) at a TNB testing facility in Kajang. TNB reports the trials are in support of the Malaysian government’s emission goals: a 45% greenhouse gas intensity reduction by 2030.

There was no generic ammonia detected at the exit of the furnace during the experiment. The flame temperatures for both cases of coal and co-firing do not vary significantly…The ammonia ratio is increased gradually from 0% up to 60% for each coal type experiment. Besides CO2 emission, the test is to observe the impact on boilers, flame stability, amount of unburned coal, flue gas properties, sulphur oxide measurement, coal slagging and fouling.

Testing details in TNB’s official press release (click to download pdf), 7 Aug 2022

Singapore: 100% ammonia combustion on Jurong Island

Jurong Port, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JERA will conduct a joint study on Jurong Island, where a 60MW, combined-cycle gas turbine will be fueled by 100% ammonia to produce zero-carbon electricity. The study will also examine how to prepare ammonia bunkering infrastructure to meet future demand. Jurong is the home of Singapore’s chemical and energy industries.

We feel this MOU could help pave the way for encouraging the adoption of hydrogen in Singapore through aggregation of demand across multiple sectors, mainly the power sector and the maritime sector, thereby addressing the chicken-and-egg conundrum of infrastructure versus demand needs for maritime and domestic power generation. This collaboration is certainly consistent with the spirit of reinforcing Singapore’s premier bunkering hub status – for current, transition and future fuels.

Jurong Port CEO Ooi Boon Hoe in JERA’s official press release, 19 Aug 2022
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