• $25 Billion Annual Market for Coal-fired Power Plant Air Pollution Upgrades

Air Clean Up

$25 Billion Annual Market for Coal-fired Power Plant Air Pollution Upgrades

May 20 2015

Thousands of coal-fired power plants around the world will need to upgrade or replace air pollution control equipment in the coming years. This will result in an annual expenditure of over $25 billion. This does not include consumables such as dust bags or reagents (lime, ammonia, etc.).  This conclusion was reached by aggregating information contained in a number of McIlvaine Company reports. 

Major markets will be the U.S., Europe and China.  However, there will be significant expenditures in Russia, Chile, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia.  The drivers will be: New environmental regulations, Age and deterioration of existing air pollution control systems, Efficiency improvements,   Availability of new technology. 

China will be the largest market due to its extensive fleet of coal-fired boilers, new tough regulations, and corrosion issues at existing power plants.  Over 100,000 MW of FGD systems will be upgraded.  Many of the existing precipitators will be upgraded or replaced with fabric filters. In some cases, wet electrostatic precipitators will be placed downstream of existing scrubbers.

The U.S. has just implemented new air toxic rules. The enforcement of ambient air quality rules in the individual states may result in the Los Angeles level of stringency. Because it is impossible to site a new power plant, owners are upgrading old power plants. The cost of an upgrade is likely to be more than the air pollution control investment at a new power plant.

Europe is maintaining a base fleet of coal-fired power plants. It continues to tighten emission limits. So upgrades are periodically required. Russia, Chile and South Africa are among the countries which are tightening particulate limits and forcing power plants to install fabric filters. Removal of the precipitator internals and their replacement with bags is becoming increasingly common.


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