Marking a significant step forward for coal gasification technology, GE (NYSE: GE) and Shenhua announced that they have agreed to form an industrial coal gasification joint venture to advance the deployment of “cleaner coal” technology solutions in China. The new company combines GE’s expertise in industrial gasification technologies with Shenhua’s expertise in coal gasification and coal-fired power generation. The announcement was made as part of China President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony at the Strategic Forum on U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation in Washington D.C. It establishes a joint venture company in which GE and Shenhua would sell industrial coal gasification technology licenses, jointly advocate for and develop integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) facilities and conduct research and development to improve cost and performance of commercial scale gasification and IGCC solutions. This includes industrial coal gasification applications in China as well as jointly pursuing the deployment of commercial scale IGCC plants.
”Shenhua has deep experience in developing and operating coal gasification and coal-fired power generation facilities in China, including the Shenhua Baotou coal to olefins facility which uses GE’s gasification technology,” said Mr. Zhang Xiwu, chairman of Shenhua Group Corporation Ltd. “Collaboration between our two companies in this joint venture will create a gasification technology business in China with significant local presence, focus, resources and expertise.”
“Coal plays an important role in the economies of the U.S. and China, and gasification technology allows us to use this abundant and low cost resource in a much cleaner way,” said Keith White, general manager, gasification, GE Power & Water. “This joint venture company is an evolution of the strong gasification business GE has in China today; today’s announcement represents an important investment by GE and Shenhua in the future of gasification in China and the deployment of cleaner coal technologies. Each business intends to contribute existing technology, operational and service expertise to create a comprehensive gasification and cleaner coal technology and service provider in China.”
The joint venture company would be established and commence operation later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.
Gasification technology has become a critical tool in the expansion of the Chinese economy, allowing a wide variety of industrial products and fuels to be created from low-cost abundant coal resources. GE’s gasification technology is one of the most widely applied technologies of its kind in China, with more than 40 licensed facilities.
Shenhua is one of the world’s largest coal and energy companies, with coal reserves, coal-fired power generation and a national role in the development of new coal-related technologies such as coal-to-liquids and carbon sequestration. It has unique advantage of integrated development of coal production, power generation, railway, port and shipping. Shenhua has significant experience in the development of coal-to-chemicals facilities and in the operation of coal gasification systems over a range of technology configurations.
GE, Shenhua form cleaner coal JV to advance coal gasification technologies in China