The Ishikariwan Shinko power plant is a high-efficiency combined-cycle power plant located near Otaru, within the Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. Owned and operated by Hokkaido Electric Power (HEPCO), it is the company’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-based power plant.The 569.4MW first unit of the Ishikariwan Shinko power plant was brought online in February 2019. The plant is further planned to be expanded to 1,708.2MW capacity with the expected commissioning of units two and three by 2026 and 2030, respectively.

Built as a replacement for the aging thermal power plants in Hokkaido, the Ishikariwan Shinko LNG-based power project forms part of HEPCO’s long-term strategy to secure greater power reliability in the region through diversified  fuel usage.The Ishikariwan Shinko power plant receives feed gas from the nearby Ishikari LNG import terminal operated by Hokkaido Gas Company and generates electricity for distribution in the Hokkaido area.

Ishikariwan Shinko power project background

HEPCO awarded Toshiba Energy Systems & Solution (ESS) the contract to provide a high-efficiency combined-cycle thermal power generation system for the Ishikariwan Shinko power plant Unit-1 in June 2014.

To optimize the overall system design of the plant, Toshiba combined its own advanced steam turbine and generator technology with General Electric’s (GE) most efficient 9HA0.1 gas turbine technology to provide the combined-cycle power generation system for the plant.

Toshiba and GE signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the joint development of high-efficiency combined-cycle systems offering in January 2013 and signed a strategic alliance agreement in the same year in October for marketing the offering globally.

Ishikariwan Shinko power plant Unit-1 represented the first order for such combined-cycle system, after the establishment of the strategic alliance between Toshiba and GE.

Construction on the first unit of the Ishikariwan Shinko power plant was started in August 2015 and completed in February 2019.

Ishikariwan Shinko power plant turbine details

The GE 9HA0.1 gas turbine being used in the Ishikariwan Shinko power plant Unit-1 provides up to 62% thermal efficiency in combined-cycle operation and is considered to be one of the world’s largest and most efficient heavy-duty gas turbines in operation.

The GE 9HA0.1 uses a simplified air-cooled architecture and advanced materials compared to GE’s previous H-class fleet, resulting in lower maintenance cost.

The four-stage turbine features 3D aerodynamic hot gas path and improvements to the cooling and sealing components.

The turbine comes with a 14-stage compressor with 3D aerodynamic airfoils and axial fuel staging. It can operate at a fuel pressure as low as 435psi/30 bar, reducing the need for on-site gas compression.

The GE 9HA0.1 gas turbine takes just 12 minutes to ramp up from start to full load, with a ramping capability of 70MW/minute in a 1x1 configuration.

Gas supply

HEPCO receives gas supply for the Ishikariwan Shinko power plant from its own LNG storage tank at the Ishikari LNG import terminal, which is operated by Hokkaido Gas Company.

A second LNG tank for the power plant is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2020.

At 230,000 kiloliter capacity, HEPCO’s second tank at the Ishikari LNG receiving terminal will be one of the biggest above-ground LNG tanks in the world.

HEPCO procures LNG for the Ishikariwan Shinko power plant from Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) and Malaysia LNG, a subsidiary of PETRONAS, under long term contracts.

Malaysia LNG will deliver up to 130,000 tonnes of LNG a year (tpa), while KEPCO agreed to deliver up to 200,000tpa of LNG.

Contractors involved

Toshiba was engaged as the prime contractor for the Ishikariwan Shinko power plant Unit-1 in June 2014, while GE provided the 9HA0.1 turbine for the plant.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries along with Obayashi Corporation was contracted for the construction of HEPCO’s second  LNG storage tank  at the Ishikari LNG Terminal in June 2016.