Mitsubishi Heavy, Keppel collaborate in hydrogen power generation for data centers in Singapore

19, Jun. 2020

(Photo courtesy of Keppel Data Centres Holding Pte. Ltd.,)
(Photo courtesy of Keppel Data Centres Holding Pte. Ltd.,)

SINGAPORE, NNA – Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Singapore government-backed conglomerate Keppel Corp. are collaborating to develop technology for a hydrogen-powered, tri-generation facility for data centers in Southeast Asia's financial and business hub.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (MHI-AP), its regional headquarters in the city-state, and Keppel Data Centres Holding Pte. Ltd., a Keppel group arm, have inked a memorandum of understanding on the joint project, Keppel Corp. said in a statement on Thursday.

Tri-generation refers to an energy supply system that effectively uses carbon dioxide as well as heat and electric power generated from heat sources.

Mitsubishi Heavy’s Singapore subsidiary and the major data center developer and operator will aim to meet the growing demand for power from data centers while reducing environmental impacts from power generation, as the digital economy is accelerating.

“The combustion of hydrogen does not produce greenhouse gas emissions,” the statement said.

“As a tri-generation plant produces heat, power and cooling, a tri-generation plant-supported data center can not only tap on the electricity produced by the plant, thereby reducing its reliance on the national grid, but also tap on the chilled water produced by the plant to cool the data center’s systems and facilities,” Keppel said in the statement.

The two partners will study how far data centers can reduce their reliance on existing power sources by using the power, heat and cooling effects from tri-generation plants to operate themselves.

They will also explore hydrogen fuel production and conduct research on carbon-neutral steam methane reforming technology, in which hydrogen is generated through a reaction between methane and steam.

“We have a wide range of technologies necessary for tri-generation, such as extracting and storing CO2 in the process of generating hydrogen,” a Mitsubishi Heavy spokeswoman in Singapore told NNA on Thursday.