Construction began today [Wednesday] on a new 600MW “hydrogen-ready” gas-fired power station in Singapore, which has been designed to co-fire a blend of up to 30% H2.

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The “state-of-the-art” Keppel Sakra Cogen Plant — a combined-cycle gas-turbine facility on Jurong Island — is expected to be completed in first half of 2026, and will initially operate on 100% fossil gas.

No date has been given for when it might co-fire H2, only that a switch would be made “in good time”.

And questions remain over whether such a move would be commercially viable. Due to the lower energy density of hydrogen compared to natural gas — and the significant energy losses associated with producing, transporting and storing the cleaner fuel — any use of H2 would inevitably result in far more expensive electricity.

“As Singapore’s first hydrogen-ready power plant, the Keppel Sakra Cogen Plant represents a decisive step by Keppel to invest in best-in-class power generation technology and to pivot to low-carbon solutions for power generation in good time,” said Cindy Lim, CEO of Keppel’s infrastructure division.

“To this end, Keppel is also working with international partners on low-carbon hydrogen, and hydrogen-derived fuels such as green ammonia, to support the decarbonisation of the energy and chemical industries as well as the maritime and aviation sectors.”

The plant’s gas turbines, supplied by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), could one day be replaced by 100% hydrogen-fired turbines.

But with utility-scale combined-cycle gas turbines costing as much as $1m per MW — and potentially even more for a 100%-hydrogen turbine — such a retrofit would seem unlikely any time soon, especially given the high expense of the initially installed turbines, and the fact that 100%-hydrogen turbines are not yet commercially available.

“We are honoured to play a key role in Singapore’s decarbonisation efforts, supplying the KSC Plant with our cutting-edge JAC gas turbine specifically designed for seamless integration with hydrogen fuel,” said Takahi Tozawa, head of MHI’s gas-turbine combined-cycle business division.

Ngiam Shih Chun, chief executive of Singapore’s Energy Market Authority, added: “As electricity demand will continue to increase, we will need more generation capacity while ensuring that the power sector transitions to a net-zero future. The hydrogen-ready Keppel Sakra Cogen Plant is a good example of the infrastructure we need, and we encourage other generation companies to make similar investments.”

The facility, which is being built in conjunction with local contractor Jurong Engineering, is also able to output steam that could be used in industrial processes on Jurong Island.