MHI and Guacolda Energía sign MOU on ammonia

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Guacolda Energía SpA, an independent power producer (IPP) in Chile, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to begin a feasibility study for the introduction of ammonia co-firing at a coal-fired thermal power plant in Huasco, Atacama Region.

The signing ceremony was held at the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Japan, the base for MHI’s steam power plant business.

Courtesy of MHI

Under the feasibility study plan based on the MoU, MHI, with support from its power solutions brand Mitsubishi Power, will determine and conduct a study of supplying the ammonia burners and other boiler facilities and equipment necessary for ammonia co-firing.

“We are very honoured to be able to proceed with this feasibility study on ammonia co-firing in Chile, which is highly proactive in decarbonisation efforts and has great expectations from the world in terms of renewable energy and clean fuel derived from it. By combining MHI’s innovative ammonia co-firing technology with Guacolda’s deep technical knowledge and power plant management know-how, we are confident that we can contribute to the further acceleration of decarbonisation in Guacolda, and consequently in Chile,” Masahiko Hokano, Head of the Steam Power Maintenance Innovation (SPMI) Business Division at MHI, said.

The study will be executed in phases. The first, through 2024, will be a basic study for 30% ammonia co-firing to identify the problems involved, and the second phase, from 2025 to 2026, will consider solutions to the problems identified in phase 1, and compile a detailed plan for a demonstration of 30% ammonia co-firing.

Guacolda said that, in the future, it aims to conduct demonstration testing at the plant and increase the co-firing rate.

“A rational policy to reduce greenhouse gases should consider a gradual withdrawal from the use of fossil fuels, combining them with more climate-friendly energies such as green hydrogen, green ammonia, and long-term storage technologies, in the most economical way possible but always safeguard the safety of the electrical system as a whole,” Jorge Rodríguez, Guacolda Chairman, said.

The power plant, that will be the site of the study, comprises five power generation units with a total output of 758 MW, and MHI supplied the boiler, steam turbine, and other core facilities for it.

Chile has set a target for carbon neutrality by 2050 and plans to increasingly incorporate non-conventional renewable energy sources into the Chilean electricity matrix.

As a part of the carbon neutrality goal, in April, the Chilean Ministries of Energy, Transport and Telecommunications, and Foreign Affairs launched a project with the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping to establish green shipping corridors in the country. The network of green corridors will allow green maritime transportation of goods in and out of Chile.

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