Cleaning up coal power

Power giants GE Energy and Schlumberger are to combine their technical know-how to create much cleaner coal-fired power plants.

The companies have signed an agreement that will bring together GE’s experience in integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) systems and Schlumberger Carbon Service’s carbon capture and storage (CCS), site selection and project management expertise.

Ricardo Cordoba, president of GE Energy Western Europe and North Africa, said: ‘This is a first-of-its-kind alliance between leaders in IGCC technology and CO2 storage to accelerate the commercial development and deployment of cleaner coal power and encourage the proper regulatory framework.’

Cordoba says GE currently designs and supplies IGCC technology with carbon capture for new-build coal-fired plants or as a retrofit. Under the partnership, the two companies would be able to supply turnkey, cost-effective IGCC with CCS systems that could be readily implemented according to international emissions directives.

GE Energy’s IGCC gasification process cleans heavy fuels and converts them into a high-value fuel that drives gas turbines in efficient combined-cycle systems. The company claims its commercial-scale IGCC plant designs offer emissions better than advanced natural gas combined-cycle performance for sulphur and nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

IGCC technology meets Clean Air Mercury Rules (CAMR) for mercury emissions and uses less water than a traditional pulverised coal plant. Several IGCC projects using GE’s technology are under way in the eastern US.

GE sas its IGCC technology is a key component of its corporate commitment to cleaner energy, lower emissions and abundant clean water supplies, dubbed ‘ecomagination’.