(EnergyAsia, May 14 2012, Monday)  — US industrial giant GE said it and China’s Shenhua Group have started up their equal joint venture GE Shenhua Gasification Technology Company Ltd to develop and deploy “cleaner coal” technology solutions in China.

Based in Shanghai, the new company combines GE’s expertise in industrial gasification technologies with Shenhua’s expertise in coal gasification and coal-fired power generation.
The JV will sell industrial gasification technology licences in China, conduct research and development to improve cost and performance of commercial-scale gasification and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) solutions and work to advance to distribution of commercial-scale IGCC.

The company’s technology will convert coal into a synthesis gas (or syngas) that can then be used to produce chemicals or other products. Gasification technology has become a critical tool in the expansion of the Chinese economy, allowing a wide variety of industrial products and fuels to be created from low-cost abundant coal resources.

With more than 50 licenced facilities in China, GE said its gasification technology is one of the most widely deployed in the industry.

Shenhua is one of the world’s largest coal and energy companies, with integrated coal production, power generation, railway, port and shipping infrastructure. Shenhua also has a national role in the development of new coal-related technologies such as coal-to-liquids and carbon sequestration.

The company has established the country’s first demonstration projects for direct coal liquefaction, coal-to-olefins (MTO) and coal-to-polypropylene (MTP), utilising gasification technology. Through these efforts, the company has built significant expertise in the development of coal-to-chemicals facilities and in the operation of coal gasification systems over a range of technology configurations. Shenhua also has developed  expertise in carbon utilisation and management through CCS research and development.

”Both GE and Shenhua have worked together for years in China on important projects, including the Shenhua Baotou coal-to-olefins facility, which uses GE’s gasification technology.

The collaboration will create a leading gasification technology business in China with significant local presence, focus, resources and expertise,” said Wang Xiaolin, Shenhua Group’s deputy general manager.

Paul Browning, President and CEO of Thermal Products, GE Energy, said:

“Coal plays an important role in the economies of both the US and China, and gasification technology allows us to use this abundant and low-cost resource in a much cleaner way.

This joint venture is an evolution of the strong gasification business GE has in China today. Each business will contribute technology, operational and service expertise to create a comprehensive gasification and cleaner coal technology and service provider in China.”

GE said the new JV further strengthens the relationship between the two companies.
Jack Wen, GE Energy China CEO, said:

“This is not a market access in exchange for technology deal. Instead, this will be a two-way technology win, with both GE and Shenhua benefiting from each other’s expertise.”