Converting an Aging Coal-Fired Power Plant to H-Class Technology and Hydrogen in South Korea

The new H-Class gas turbine power plant is expected to support coal-fired power phase out while enhancing the reliability and stability of the South Korean electricity grid.

The challenge

Korean Western Power Co., Ltd. (KOWEPO), a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), is looking to phase out of coal production, replacing their technology with gas turbines that will initially run on natural gas and eventually switch to blends of hydrogen when available.

The solution

GE Vernova will provide a 7HA.02 gas turbine and a H65 generator for KOWEPO’s power station in Gongju-si, Chungcheongnam-do Republic of Korea. For the project GE Vernova is part of an international consortium, including the Korean engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company Daewoo E&C.



hydrogen by volume will be burned


expected carbon neutrality in South Korea

This power plant will add new capacity, expected to increase power supply security in South Korea while continuing to phase out coal power generation. In addition, it will help expand a more reliable deployment of renewable energy resources in our country as we’ll be more capable to dispatch power quickly in response to grid fluctuations. The new power plant will be capable to operate on up to 30% hydrogen by volume, in line with the national goal to deploy renewables and green hydrogen at large scale and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Representative from KOWEPO

KOWEPO’s aged coal-fired plant is expected to be replaced with Gongju-si natural gas power generation, expected to reach an output of 500 MW, while enabling future fuel mix combustion of up to 30 percent by volume of hydrogen, subject to the development of a hydrogen manufacturing industry of an appropriate size and scale.

The new power plant targets to begin operation in 2027. Switching from a coal plant to its gas equivalent can alone reduce carbon emissions by as much 60 percent, and lower emissions levels for other pollutants such as mercury, NOx, SOx and particulate matter, when using one of the most advanced of GE Vernova’s HA gas turbines.

“In a country with an increasing power demand due to planned coal-fired power plant retirements, we are proud to support a lower-carbon future in Korea,” said Ramesh Singaram, President and CEO GE Vernova’s Gas Power in Asia. “We are committed to providing KOWEPO with our advanced gas turbine technology to accelerate coal phase-out and support an increase in the share of renewables as we work towards lower-carbon gas-based power generation with hydrogen. Once in operation, Gongju-si power plant is expected to be among the most efficient and flexible power plants in the country.”

GE Vernova is a major player in power generation in South Korea. GE Vernova ’s gas turbines (simple and combined cycle) in the country have the capacity to generate more than 14 Gigawatts of electricity with an installed base of over 78 units. The company has been present in South Korea since 1976, working closely with local companies to support the country’s growth in the energy sector. In 2015, GE Vernova undertook a large-scale manufacturing plant investment in Changwon, South Korea, by acquiring Doosan’s HRSG business.

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