Sharjah Hamriyah Independent Power Company (Shipco) and GE celebrated the ‘first fire’ of a gas turbine at the upcoming 1.8 gigawatts (GW) Hamriyah Independent Power Plant. 
First fire is a critical test where a turbine is switched on and operated on fuel at the site and it follows several months of installation and commissioning works. 
Almost all the civil works, up to 85 per cent of the procurement, and up to 70 per cent of construction and commissioning works at the Hamriyah project have already been executed, said the statement from GE. 
The project's co-developers GE Energy Financial Services and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation had signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Sewa in 2018 to develop, build and operate the plant. 
Following financial close in 2019, co-developers along with Shikoku Electric Power Company and Sharjah Asset Management, formed a joint venture company - Shipco - to build, own and operate the project, which is the first independent combined cycle power plant in Sharjah. 
For the project, GE is supplying three HA gas turbines, six generators, three heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services. 
Several senior officials including Omar Almulla, Chairman of Shipco; Chuck Nugent, President and CEO of Heavy Duty Gas Turbine Equipment at GE Gas Power; Mohamad Ali, Senior Executive Director for Projects at GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and other high-ranking executives were present at the occasion to celebrate the critical milestone.
GE’s HA technology has set two world records for combined cycle efficiency and is expected to help make the Hamriyah project the most efficient power plant in the Middle East’s utilities sector once it is complete. 
GE will also provide parts, repairs and maintenance services for various equipment at the site for a period of approximately 25 years, said Mohamad Ali, Senior Executive Director for Projects at GE Gas Power EMEA.
"This flagship project is anticipated to generate almost 40 percent of the emirate’s power once complete, playing an essential role in helping Sharjah achieve energy independence," he stated.
"We are honoured to bring GE’s record-setting HA gas turbines to the UAE for the very first time to power the Hamriyah project. The HA turbines offer several benefits, including supporting the decarbonization goals outlined under the UAE Energy Strategy," noted Ali. 
"Using three GE 9HA.01 units in combined cycle operations can help SEWA reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4 million tons per year, compared to current levels - the equivalent of taking up to 1 million cars off the UAE’s roads," he stated. 
"Moreover, the technology currently has the capability to burn up to 50 percent by volume of hydrogen when blended with natural gas, with a technology roadmap to achieve 100 percent hydrogen, enabling the transition to a cleaner energy future to the benefit of current and future generations," he added.-TradeArabia News Service