Europe to get first ammonia-fired power generation facility

Bord Gáis Energy's Whitegate Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station in Cork, Ireland
Centrica, with Mitsubishi Power, will establish the facility at Bord Gáis Energy's Whitegate Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station in Ireland

A first-of-its-kind facility is on the horizon for Europe as two energy giants collaborate on a project to establish a new power generation site, the second of its kind in the world.

Centrica and Mitsubishi Power’s European arm are exploring the development, construction, and operation of Europe's first-ever ammonia-fired power generation facility at Bord Gáis Energy's Whitegate Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station in Cork, Ireland.

Chris O’Shea, Centrica’s Group Chief Executive, said: “At Centrica we believe that all energy can be green energy and that this can also improve energy security. This is one of the many projects Centrica is working on to demonstrate how the hydrogen economy could work in practice. In this instance, we hope to be able to show how hydrogen could be stored and transported as low carbon ammonia, delivering cleaner energy for customers at the point of use.”

‘All energy can be green energy’

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Led by Centrica, the project, if approved, will utilise low carbon ammonia as a clean and sustainable fuel source for power generation. This is being explored as a green power option as it has the potential to provide security of supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Bord Gáis Energy facility at Whitegate CCGT power station is positioned to serve as a world- and industry-leading example for ammonia-fired power generation technology. It is hoped that the facility will provide insight into the feasibility and scalability of low carbon ammonia as a green fuel and shape the future of power generation worldwide.  

Why is ammonia a greener energy option?

Centrica explains how because low carbon ammonia has a higher volumetric density than hydrogen, it enables the utilisation of low carbon hydrogen in a form which is easy to transport and store. This results in a fuel that can be combusted with no carbon emissions at point of use.

Due to its potential to address various environmental and energy-related challenges, such as energy density, quality of being a hydrogen carrier, its infrastructure compatibility, energy security, renewable integration and potential for green shipping, as well as the R&D into its future, low carbon ammonia is considered a green fuel.

For these reasons, it positions this process and its by-product as a fuel with a promising long-term energy solution for the transition to a low-carbon energy value chain.

Javier Cavada, President and CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mitsubishi Power added: “Mitsubishi Power is the frontrunner in the development of technology to enable the direct firing of ammonia for power generation, harnessing our 50-year pioneering experience in low carbon gas turbine and hydrogen fuel combustion technologies. This is truly a leap forward toward a cleaner, greener energy future, enabled by Europe's first ammonia-fired power generation facility utilising low carbon ammonia.”

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