GE Vernova’s gas power unit has announced the start of commercial operations for JERA’s 1.5GW gas-fired group 4 of the Futtsu power plant in Chiba, Japan.

Overall, the Futtsu power station has a capacity of 5.6GW. It is made up of four groups of combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants, that entered into service between 1985 and 2010.

Group 4 of the Japanese power project is equipped with three GE 9HA.01 gas turbines.

GE Vernova, JERA, and the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) partner Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions executed a flange-to-flange replacement. This was done to upgrade the three existing units to the advanced 9HA.01 technology.

The upgrade guarantees improved performance, efficiency, and reduced emissions, said GE Vernova.

Apart from being one of the vital power generation facilities in Japan, Futtsu is also the country’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal which receives an annual intake of more than 11 million tons of LNG annually.

The Futtsu power plant, which is owned and operated by JERA, is said to play a key role in powering the Tokyo Metropolitan region by providing consistent electricity to both residents and businesses.

JERA Futtsu thermal plant general manager Fumitaka Ninomiya said: “The completion of the flange-to-flange project at group 4 of the Futtsu Power Plant is testament to our dedication to continuously improving our power generation facilities energy generation.

“The Futtsu facility has now reset the clock on crucial assets, delivering 1.5GW of electricity with more efficient technology that can help reduce emissions by burning fuel more efficiently.”

According to GE Vernova, the process of flange-to-flange replacement involves upgrading an older engine, replacing it from the inlet flange to the exhaust flange. The approach offers a cost-effective solution to simultaneously address various power generation requirements, such as extending asset life, enhancing performance, controlling emissions, and enabling fuel flexibility, said the company.

GE Vernova gas power Asia president and CEO Ramesh Singaram said: “The successful completion of this project marks our commitment to supporting customers, like JERA, to deliver innovative, reliable, and sustainable power solutions to support and further the energy transition in Japan.

“Our H-Class combined cycle technology not only leads to significant efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions, and enhanced cost-effectiveness, but also provides a pathway to co-firing with zero carbon fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen in the future.”