GE and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have signed a cooperative research agreement to undertake joint research on strengthening the fuel flexibility of GE’s advanced gas turbines.

The collaborative research will focus on the impact of using heavy liquid fuels on advanced gas turbines and the results will be evaluated by GE experts to determine feasibility.

The study is expected to help improve the overall fuel flexibility of gas turbines, which in turn can positively impact power plant availability, enabling power producers to meet the growing demand for electricity in the Kingdom.

KAUST Clean Combustion Center director Bill Roberts said: "Our goal is not only to shape a future generation of energy and industry-skilled professionals, but also contribute to innovative technologies that are developed in the Kingdom."

Planned to commence in 2015, the collaborative research project is co-funded by GE and KAUST.

GE Saudi Arabia and Bahrain president & CEO Hisham Al Bahkali said: "This is a great opportunity to engage in collaborative research for an important aspect in advancing the energy sector of the Kingdom and supports the Ministry of Petroleum’s Liquid Hydrocarbon Energy initiative.

"Strengthening the fuel flexibility of GE’s advanced gas turbines will have far-reaching benefits for our partners in the electricity generation sector."

"By sharing knowledge and potentially creating new technologies, we can contribute to increasing productivity and efficiency at the power plants in the Kingdom."