How technology gives coal new opportunity to provide world with electricity

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Providing the world with electricity is not easy, with more than one billion persons living in complete darkness which is about 13% of the world’s population, most of which are in developing countries.

There are expectations that the global energy demand will rise by 40 percent in the coming 20 years.

However, this scenario is not impossible in light of developments in technology, and its continuous ability to rediscover itself and catch up with clean-energy “electrocutionary” waves.

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According to Dr. Sacha Parneix, Commercial General Manager GE Power, “the cost of launching a coal power plant varies depending on the location of the project, its closeness from the sea and the quality of the coal used and its source.”

“Thus, we need feasibility studies on a case-by-case basis and design a structure that suits the geographical nature of each region to meet its needs. Considering the ability to develop the design after years and rebuild its properties in line with the new emission requirements, which makes the time duration to end the financing of these projects long and exhausting.”

“The major advantage of this project is that all its outputs are used commercially. Coal ash is being sold to road paving companies, salinity percentages extracted are being frozen and sold. As for the operational efficiency, 97% of the toxic sulfur gases resulting from the use of gas or other fuels can be disposed of,” he added.

Since its beginning, the generating energy industry depended mainly on the trade-off between environmental impacts and production benefits, which gave traditional fuel, like gas, a priority to provide electricity to the consumer.

However, the need to have a diversity of energy resources and the increasing demand on electricity production gave new opportunities to discover light sources in nuclear power wind energy, solar panels, and even coal, which began to be redefined as a clean and safe source in case a specialized technology had been used to control the harmful emissions of this solid metal.

Electricity Island
Electricity Island

Since 2011, Malaysia started using modern technology and launched “Manjung 4”, the largest clean coal power plant in Southeast Asia, with a production capacity of 1,000 megawatts to meet the energy demand in the limited resources Asian country.

“Manjung 4”, which is owned by the semi-governmental company “Tenaga” in cooperation with the technical partner “General Electric” to achieve Malaysia’s strategy to diversify energy sources, produce enough clean electricity for nearly 2 million houses and facilities across the country and control harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

According to Datuk Shamsul, Managing Director of TNB “Manjung 4” in Malaysia, “the world, and especially Malaysia requires accessible, reliable and sustainable energy, and GE can provide solutions in this sector.”

Electricity Island 3
Electricity Island 3

“By choosing GE technologies, TNB is already seeing benefits. In addition to its incredible efficiency 10% higher than the global average, the plant has achieved extremely high availability, particularly during the second year of operation with a 97% availability, exceeding its target rate while allowing TNB to reliably deliver full base load to the grid”.

“In addition, Manajung 4 has also benefited from minimized unplanned downtime with an unplanned outage rate of only 2.4% as the end of August, compared to the world standard at 4%”.

“Manjung's 4 has sophisticated environmental and air quality control technologies (AQCS) which can significantly reduce SO2 and NOx emissions up to 70% compared to other Manjung units. GE's Seawater Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) system achieves more than 90% CO2 removal setting Manjung 4 at 200mg/Nm3 - significantly below world bank standards of 750mg/Nm3”.

“The sum of solutions implemented at the Manjung 4 plant will lead to a total 4-5% emissions reduction compared to previous units, a strong environmental win for the region”.

As Mideast first power station with Chinese venture in investment and construction, the Hassyan Clean Coal project in Dubai of United Arab Emirates (UAE) is on track, faster than expected, for the goal of starting operation by 2020.

Construction of the $3.4bn power plant commenced in November 2016.

It will comprise four units of 600MW each, which are expected to start operations in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively, in March of those years.

Electricity Island
Electricity Island

Hassyan Energy Company, which is a joint-venture (JV) between Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA, 51%) and the consortium of ACWA Power, Harbin Electric, and the Silk Road Fund (49%), is the project developer.

The project supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which is aimed at producing environment-friendly energy.

The program aims to produce 25% of energy from solar power, 7% from nuclear power, 7% from clean coal, and the remaining 61% from gas by 2030.

"Once fully completed by 2023, this clean coal power station will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, a symbol of UAE-China green energy partnership, and a successful joint venture under China's Belt and Road Initiative," said Tie Sijia, deputy manager of the Dubai Hassyan Power Plant project.

The power plant is expected to produce sufficient electricity to power approximately 250,000 households.

According to DEWA Managing Director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Dubai's future clean energy mix shall rise to 75 percent by 2050.

Electricity Island
Electricity Island

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