Significant progress has been made in the installation and initial operation of several IGCC power plants. At least six IGCC projects are scheduled to enter commercial operation in the USA and in Europe during 1996. Several additional IGCC projects are under construction or under development using many different gasification systems. Gas turbine manufacturers introduced advanced gas turbine technology in 1995, resulting in IGCC efficiency for coal and heavy oil-fired plants of up to 50% (LHV) with plant costs consistent with conventional steam plants. Gas turbine developments specifically aimed at IGCC applications allow the use of environmentally low quality fuels without added impact on the environment.
This paper discusses the current operating experience of several of the initial IGCC plants and illustrates the very attractive fuels flexibility with the combined-cycle plants burning naphtha or distillate oils initially with later conversions to IGCC burning lignite, heavy oil or orimulsion. This paper also discusses the heat rate and output performance capabilities of the IGCC with H level gas turbine technology and the resulting impacts on the cost of electricity from IGCC plants.