A hydrogen first in China for GE

By Jack Burke07 December 2021

Project expected to be operational in 2023

GE and Harbin Electric Corp. said that Chinese state-owned power utility Guangdong Energy has ordered two GE 9HA.01 gas turbines for its Guangdong Huizhou combined cycle power.

Expected to burn up to 10% by volume of hydrogen blended with natural gas upon start of operation, the gas turbines will be the first to burn hydrogen blended with natural gas in mainland China, the companies said. The project is expected to be operational in 2023 providing 1.34 GW of power to the Guangdong province, which is an agglomeration of cities. Harbin will also provide steam for the industrial process of the chemical complex present in Huizhou.

According to the companies, China is committed to the coal-to-gas transition and implementing its policy to reduce coal’s share to under 58% of the energy mix. Hydrogen-blended natural gas-fired generators have the lowest CO2 emissions of all fossil power generation fuels—a 10% hydrogen-blended natural gas-fired combined cycle plant has roughly 40% of the CO2 emissions of a similarly sized coal plant, and lower emissions levels for other pollutants such as mercury, NOx, SOx and particulate matter.

GE and Harbin Electric Corporation will provide two 9HA.01 heavy duty gas turbines to Guangdong Huizhou power plant operated by the Guangdong Energy Group Co. The new power plant is expected to deliver 1.34 GW of electricity to Guangdong province and steam for the industrial process of the chemical complex present in Huizhou. The project marks first GE 9HA.01 gas turbines blending Hydrogen in mainland China and first manufactured from GE Harbin Electric HDGT Joint Venture in Qinhuangdao.

“GE sees hydrogen-blended natural gas serving as a catalyst accelerating the world’s efforts towards decarbonizing the power generation sector,” said Ma Jun, Utility Sales General Manager of GE Gas Power China. “We are pleased that Guangdong Energy Group once again has selected our H-Class technology to deliver highly efficient power generation that will emit even less carbon when blended with hydrogen. The units will initially operate on a blend of up to 10% hydrogen by volume, with potential for an increase in future.”

The project also marks the first localized 9HA.01 manufactured by General Harbin Electric Gas Turbine (Qinhuangdao) Co., Ltd. in mainland China. The joint venture was formed in 2019 between GE and Harbin Electric as a joint effort to focus on heavy duty gas turbine localization, aiming to deliver efficient and reliable support for China natural and hydrogen-blended gas power plants. In addition, Harbin Electric will provide steam turbine, generator and balance-of-plant equipment for the Guangdong Huizhou power plant.

GE’s H-Class gas turbine portfolio currently has the capability to burn up to 50% by volume of hydrogen when blended with natural gas. This capability is enabled by the DLN2.6e combustion system that is standard on current 9HA.01/9HA.02/7HA.03 gas turbines offerings. The technology in this combustion system was developed as part of the US Department of Energy’s High Hydrogen Turbine program, and enabled combustion of high hydrogen without diluent. This technology has enabled the DLN 2.6e combustion system to operate on blends of natural gas and hydrogen, and GE has a technology roadmap to achieve 100% hydrogen in this platform.

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