GE (NYSE: GE) and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation have reached a public-private partnership milestone by signing a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) to develop, build and operate a 1.8 gigawatt (GW) combined cycle power plant located in Hamriyah.
Equipped with GE’s HA technology, including the world’s largest and most efficient heavy-duty gas turbine, the flagship project is expected to be the most efficient power plant in the Middle East’s utilities sector upon completion and will enable SEWA to substantially improve the overall efficiency of its operations.
The project will consist of three combined cycle blocks, the first of which is expected to come online in May 2021.
Dr. Rashid Alleem, Chairman of SEWA, said, “We are committed to strengthen Sharjah’s electricity infrastructure and provide seamless, affordable power.The proposed plant underlines our focus to promote public-private partnerships to drive a robust power production and management plan that is aligned with local energy needs, as well as the optimal utilization of natural resources.”
Under the scope of the project, co-sponsors Sumitomo and GE Capital’s Energy Financial Services will partner with Shikoku Electric Power Company, and Sharjah Asset Management (SAM), the investment arm of the Government of Sharjah, to form an equity consortium for the project.
This will establish the project as the first independent combined cycle power plant in Sharjah, which demonstrates the strength of the emirate’s economy and its attractiveness for foreign direct investment (FDI). SEWA will purchase power from the consortium over 25 years under the PPA.
GE will supply three HA gas turbines, three steam turbines, six generators, three heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) and turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the power plant.
GE will also provide parts, repairs and maintenance services for the power generation assets at the site for a period of 25 years.
“SEWA has a clear vision for Sharjah’s power sector, and GE is honored to partner with Sumitomo to deliver more efficient, reliable and sustainable power for residential and industrial users in Sharjah,” said Scott Strazik, President and CEO of GE Gas Power. “The project brings together GE’s combined strengths in best-in-class technology, local presence, infrastructure and finance capabilities with our expertise in power plant construction, operations, and management.”
GE’s HA technology has now helped to deliver two world records - one for powering the world’s most efficient combined cycle power plant, based on achieving 63.08 percent gross efficiency at Chubu Electric Nishi-Nagoya Power Plant Block-1 in Japan and another for helping EDF’s Bouchain Power Plant achieve 62.22 percent net combined cycle efficiency in France. As such, it is recognized for record-setting efficiency in both the 60 hertz and 50 hertz segments of the global power market.
The record-breaking efficiency offered by GE’s HA units matters as using three GE 9HA units in combined cycle operations can also help SEWA reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4 million tons per year, compared to current levels. This is the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the UAE’s roads, substantially reducing the environmental impact of power production in the emirate of Sharjah.
Today, the HA has achieved more than 242,000 operating hours and is the fastest growing fleet of heavy duty gas turbines in the world with over 80 units ordered by more than 35 customers in 16 countries.
The technology also continues to achieve ongoing recognition by industry third parties – EDF’s HA-equipped Bouchain power plant in France was named as a Gas Plant of the Year by POWER Magazine in 2017, and Exelon’s HA-powered Wolf Hollow II project in the United States was honoured as Power Engineering’s Best Gas-Fired Project of 2017.
The agreement builds on a history of strong collaboration between GE and SEWA. GE has contributed to the growth of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC’s) power sector for over 80 years and GE-built technologies generate up to 60 percent of Sharjah’s electricity today.