Sembcorp inks MoU on Sakra power plant retrofitting with NH3-firing capabilities

Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries, Japan’s IHI Corporation and U.S. GE Vernova’s Gas Power business have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly explore the potential retrofitting of Sembcorp’s Sakra power plant in Singapore with ammonia-firing capabilities.

Courtesy of IHI Corporation

The project is expected to potentially assist Sembcorp in generating low-carbon energy from its existing power plant assets and support Singapore’s efforts to diversify its energy sources and decarbonize the power sector. Additionally, it is expected to bolster industry confidence in the development of an ammonia value chain in Singapore.

Koh Chiap Khiong, CEO, Singapore & Southeast Asia, Sembcorp Industries, commented: “Sembcorp Cogen @ Sakra was Singapore’s largest and most efficient cogeneration plant when it was commissioned in 2001. We are now taking the next step to support decarbonization efforts through the potential retrofitting of the power plant with ammonia-firing capabilities. As a pioneer in adopting technologies to reduce carbon footprint, Sembcorp remains committed to decarbonizing the power generation sector and driving energy transition.”

Jun Kobayashi, Board Director, Managing Executive Officer, IHI Corporation, stated: “IHI is developing ammonia combustion technologies and infrastructure solutions that can be safely retrofitted to existing power generation facilities, thereby establishing true reductions in carbon emissions. The ability to retrofit such technologies also provides decarbonization pathways that future-proof existing investments in power generation.”

Ramesh Singaram, President and CEO of GE Gas Power Asia, said that GE Vernova will bring its experience and expertise in engineering and manufacturing gas turbine combustors and balance of plant systems, adding: “We remain committed to supporting the advancement of the region’s energy goals, working alongside partners such as Sembcorp and IHI Corporation. We hope that this collaboration will pave the way for power plant operators to adopt carbon-free combustion fuels such as ammonia in GE gas turbines, to significantly contribute towards lowering carbon emissions in the power sector in Asia and globally.”

To note, the agreement between the three companies is an extension of an earlier MoU between Sembcorp and IHI in 2022 to explore decarbonization pathways for the power and industrial sector, in particular ammonia direct combustion systems, and it builds upon a separate cooperation between IHI and GE Vernova on developing a retrofittable, 100% ammonia-capable combustion system that is compatible with specific GE Vernova turbine models.