Keppel Upgrades Gas Turbine for Hydrogen Readiness and Lower Emissions

Keppel Ltd has announced that they will upgrade a second existing gas turbine unit at the Keppel Merlimau Cogen combined cycle power plant (KMC) situated on Singapore’s Jurong Island.

The upgrade of the second gas turbine unit will further enhance the efficiency of KMC’s overall plant operations, increase operational reliability and extend the major maintenance intervals. The upgrade is expected to lower the carbon emissions of KMC by at least 17,800 tCO2e per year, which is the equivalent of removing more than 5,400 vehicles off the roads annually.

The upgrade entails modifications to the gas turbine frame, including the turbine, compressor, as well as the combustor, and will provide the most advanced performance improvements for a combined cycle gas turbine of its class. The upgrade is supported by the Genco Energy Efficiency Grant, awarded by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) in 2023. This grant is part of the Enhanced Industry Energy Efficiency Package and aims to support power generation companies in improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions from their power plants.

Keppel has commenced preparations for the upgrade and is working very closely with the original equipment manufacturer. The upgrade is expected to be completed by end June 2025. In addition, with certain modifications, the upgraded turbine will also be able to co-fire hydrogen blended with natural gas as feedstock, enabling the plant to further support Singapore’s commitment to decarbonise the power sector.

Mr Ngiam Shih Chun, Chief Executive of EMA, said, “As we transition to new, more efficient power generation plants, it is equally important that existing plants enhance their energy efficiency to contribute to the decarbonisation of Singapore’s energy sector. Enhancements at Keppel’s plant, supported by the Genco Energy Efficiency Grant, demonstrate EMA’s commitment to improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions among power generation companies. We look forward to further collaborations with industry partners as we advance our energy transition towards a sustainable future.”

Ms Cindy Lim, CEO of Keppel’s Infrastructure Division, said, “Backed by the proven reliability of our first high-efficiency upgrade of one turbine of our electricity generation units completed in 2022, which has achieved over 15,000 operating hours, Keppel is undertaking an upgrade of a second unit to further improve the overall energy efficiency and lower the carbon emission intensity of our integrated power business. The upgraded units will be future-ready to facilitate the transition to low-carbon alternatives in electricity generation, in line with Keppel’s decarbonisation goals. We thank EMA for their continued strong support.”

The power sector in Singapore contributes around 40% of its total carbon emissions, with 95% of our electricity generated from natural gas. As gas continue to be a dominant fuel for Singapore, combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) will remain to play an important role in Singapore’s energy landscape. Enhanced energy efficiency and the use of hydrogen as feedstock can contribute to a reduction of emissions from electricity generation by CCGTs.

Keppel completed the first turbine upgrade at KMC in 2022, which was the first in Southeast Asia. Both upgrades for KMC were awarded the Genco Energy Efficiency Grant, with the first unit successfully achieving carbon abatement and efficiency improvements. The second upgrade will be identical in scope as the first. Keppel has a total of four power generation units installed in Singapore, totaling 1300 MW and is in the progress of building another 600 MW hydrogen-ready, advanced, high-efficiency CCGT that is targeted to be completed in 2026. KMC is 51% owned by Keppel Infrastructure Trust and 49% owned by Keppel. The upgrades, which enhance the operations of KMC, demonstrate how by tapping into Keppel’s strong domain expertise and operating capability, Keppel is able to differentiate itself as a global asset manager and operator.

The above development is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets per share or earnings per share of Keppel for the current financial year.

About Keppel

Keppel Ltd. (SGX:BN4) is a global asset manager and operator with strong expertise in sustainability-related solutions spanning the areas of infrastructure, real estate and connectivity. Headquartered in Singapore, Keppel operates in more than 20 countries worldwide, providing critical infrastructure and services for renewables, clean energy, decarbonisation, sustainable urban renewal and digital connectivity. Keppel creates value for investors and stakeholders through its quality investment platforms and diverse asset portfolios, including private funds and listed real estate and business trusts.

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