Kaust is participating in the research

Kaust is participating in the research

GE, Kaust to study gas turbines

The academic-industry effort will focus on fuel flexibility in gas turbines, eventually helping power producers to meet electricity demand in Saudi Arabia

February 2015

GE has signed a cooperative research agreement with King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (Kaust) to undertake cutting-edge research on enhancing the fuel flexibility of GE’s advanced gas turbines.

The collaborative research, led by Saudi-based international professionals and students from Kaust along with GE’s global team, will focus on the impact of using heavy liquid fuels on advanced gas turbines. The goal of this groundbreaking study is to help advance the overall fuel flexibility of gas turbines, which in turn can positively impact power plant availability, enabling power producers to meet the growing demand for electricity in the kingdom.

According to Bill Roberts, director, Kaust Clean Combustion Centre, the university’s cooperative research with GE is a strong example of the academic-industry linkages the university fosters.

“Our goal is not only to shape a future generation of energy and industry-skilled professionals, but also contribute to innovative technologies that are developed in the kingdom,” Roberts said. “The research collaboration with GE will further strengthen our contribution to the kingdom’s energy sector.”

The collaborative research project, scheduled to begin this year, is co-funded by GE and Kaust. Research results will be evaluated by GE experts to determine feasibility.

“This is a great opportunity to engage in collaborative research for an important aspect in advancing the energy sector of the kingdom and support the Ministry of Petroleum’s Liquid Hydrocarbon Energy initiative,” said Hisham Al Bahkali, GE president and CEO for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. “Strengthening the fuel flexibility of GE’s advanced gas turbines will have far-reaching benefits for our partners in the electricity generation sector. Working with the Kaust team demonstrates our commitment to promote localised innovation, which is central to operations in the kingdom. By sharing knowledge and potentially creating new technologies, we can contribute to increasing productivity and efficiency at the power plants in the kingdom.”



The collaborative research agreement is further proof of GE’s commitment to find ways to increase fuel flexibility across power plants and refineries in the kingdom. It also complements the concerted efforts of GE to build an innovation-led ecosystem, underlined by the research initiatives at the Saudi GE Innovation Centre in in Dhahran Techno-Valley. The centre works with and through the national ecosystem with localisation being the main focus. The facility works on customer business priorities, needs and issues that address the country’s challenges.

GE’s advanced F-class gas turbines are the first to offer customers the ability to operate on crude oil. In December 2013, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and GE successfully field tested the first F-class gas turbine at Power Plant (PP) 11 operating on Arabian Super-Light (ASL) crude oil. GE’s latest 7F.05 gas turbines are expected to be commissioned on ASL as a backup fuel on projects such as SEC’s PP12  as well as SEC’s recently announced “Green Duna” Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Plant.

Kaust is an international, graduate-level research university located on the shores of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. The university is dedicated to advancing science and technology through interdisciplinary research, education and innovation. Curiosity-driven and goal-oriented research is conducted by students, faculty, scientists and engineers to address the world’s pressing scientific and technological challenges related to food, water, energy and the environment.

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, NY, Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

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