23 June 2009 – GE Energy and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) have signed final agreements to co-develop a “next generation” steam turbine for use in gas turbine combined-cycle power plants. The co-development effort will focus on the design of a new, advanced steam turbine, leaving each of the parties to separately manufacture and sell the co-developed steam turbine in support of its natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power generation products.
GE Energy and MHI first announced a memorandum of understanding for combined-cycle steam turbine co-development in January 2009. Development of a new, advanced steam turbine is viewed by both companies as a key step in meeting customer requirements for increased combined-cycle efficiency and performance worldwide.
The new steam turbine will enter commercial service coupled with the GE Frame FB and the MHI G-class gas turbine products in the 50Hz segment of the global power generation market. These gas turbine models are typically used for combined-cycle power plants in the range 850-1000 MW.
“GE has a long history of partnering with other suppliers and manufacturers to accelerate the pace at which advanced technology products are brought to market,” said Steve Bolze, president of GE Energy’s Power & Water business. “Under the agreements signed, GE and MHI will share best practices and development activities to bring a next-generation, high-performance steam turbine to the combined-cycle market faster than either party could individually achieve.”
“We are very pleased to be teamed with GE in this important effort to meet global customer requirements for increased combined-cycle efficiency and performance,” said Ichiro Fukue, director, senior executive vice president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. “The combination of our two companies’ technological expertise is a great step forward in helping our customers.”
Much of the current demand for steam turbines is driven by the strong global interest in natural gas fired, combined-cycle power generation. Although a full range of technology options is required to meet the world’s growing energy needs, steam turbines remain a backbone of the power generation industry, playing a part in generating more than 80 per cent of the world’s electricity.