JERA advances fuel ammonia technology

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JERA Co., Inc. has successfully concluded its demonstration testing of fuel ammonia substitution at Hekinan Thermal Power Station Unit 4. This pioneering project, conducted with IHI Corporation (“IHI”) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (“NEDO”), marks a significant milestone in the development of next-generation thermal power generation technologies.

The project, part of the NEDO-subsidized initiative “Development of Technologies for Carbon Recycling and Next-Generation Thermal Power Generation / Research, Development, and Demonstration of Technologies for Ammonia Co-Firing Thermal Power Generation,” focused on the world’s first large-volume fuel ammonia substitution at a large-scale coal-fired power plant. This initiative aimed to replace 20% of the plant’s heating value with ammonia, a move intended to reduce harmful emissions while maintaining power output.

On April 10, 2024, the demonstration achieved its goal, substituting 20% of the fuel with ammonia while operating at a rated output of 1 GW. The results were promising: the level of nitrogen oxides (NOx) generated did not exceed levels seen when firing coal alone, sulfur oxides (SOx) were reduced by 20%, and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, a potent greenhouse gas, remained undetectable. Additionally, the operability of the plant remained consistent with that of traditional coal firing.

In July, JERA will begin construction to facilitate the commercial operation of large-volume fuel ammonia substitution at the Hekinan Thermal Power Station. This initiative is a critical component of JERA’s broader strategy to integrate ammonia as a mainstream fuel in thermal power generation, with an ambitious goal to fully establish these technologies by March 2025.

Through the advancement of fuel ammonia substitution technologies, JERA seeks to create a clean energy supply platform that seamlessly blends renewable energy with low-carbon thermal power. This forward-looking initiative aims to make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of Asia and the world, underscoring JERA’s dedication to innovative and environmentally responsible energy solutions.

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