KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation), the largest power generation and utility company in Korea, and Germany-based Uhde, one of the largest EPC contractors, have signed a joint venture agreement on April 14. The contract was signed at the head office of Uhde in Dortmund, Germany, with the presence of KEPCO CEO Kim Ssang-su, ThyssenKrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger, and Uhde CEO Michael Thiemann.
KEPCO will have a 66% share of the newly established joint venture KEPCO-Uhde, with Uhde holding 34%. KEPCO-Uhde will use Uhde’s PRENFLO gasification process to carry out global projects in engineering, licensing and technology development of IGCC and SNG.
Uhde is a globally recognized engineering company which holds fundamental gasification technologies essential for IGCC and SNG. KEPCO is a top-class utility company with competitive edge in coal-fired thermal power generation. The partnership is expected to secure both companies the strengths in the field of coal-fired thermal power generation amid the ever-tightened environmental regulations.
KEPCO-Uhde Inc. will be established in coming July in Korea. The joint venture plans to win its first contract within the 4th quarter of this year backed by the strong support from KEPCO and Uhde through their joint R&D activities. In so doing, the joint venture is aimed at becoming a front runner in the fields of IGCC, SNG, and CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) equipped with generation facilities which are strong in terms of economic feasibility, efficiency and environment-friendliness by 2020.
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) is the environment-friendly next generation power generation technology that gasifies coal at high temperature and high pressure to create fuel gas mostly consisting of CO and hydrogen. Then, fuel gas is purified and runs gas and steam turbines. Existing coal-fired power plants are forecast to be replaced with IGCC power plants that can remarkably reduce pollutants such as CO2, SOX, NOX, while showing high generation efficiency
Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) is a promising gasification technology which has CH4 as a main constituent and therefore capable of substituting LNG shows a high likelihood of becoming future resources.