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Chinese coal-fired capacity nears 699,700 MW

21st February 2013


The total capacity of Chinese fossil-fired power plants in operation or under construction as displayed in the new McIlvaine Chinese Utility Plans database is 699,700 MW.

The database displays data on 1,255 plants (or multiple units) comprising more than 2500 individual boilers. Coal accounts for 646,000 MW, gas 8,100 MW, and oil 2,145 MW. The fuel is unknown or undecided for 43,000 MW of capacity.

Because of the short 24-36 month development schedule, most of the planned units will be operating in the next three years.

Presently 470,000 MW are in operation. The McIlvaine database shows more coal plants likely to be in operation in 2010 than the official Chinese estimate of 622,000 MW of coal capacity.

By 2011 China will have more coal-fired capacity than the US and Europe combined, and more than the next six countries combined.

Coal Generation Capacity: World, 2011 (MW)

Country Coal Capacity (MW) % of World
China 650,000 38
US 350,000 21
Russia 78,000 5
Germany 60,000 4
Japan 40,000 2
South Korea 35,000 2
Other Countries 487,000 28
Total World 1,700,000 100

Many of the older Chinese units are 150 MW in size or smaller. Most of the units under design are 600 MW. Many of the planned units are of the super critical design. The database does not include industrial coal-fired boilers. There are many thousands of these small boilers. Many are being retired as the power is being supplied by the new utility units.

The database also tracks environmental projects both at existing and new plants. More than 300 additional scrubbers are planned for the 2006-10 period. Shortly, China will have more scrubbed capacity than the United States and already has more than all of Europe. The database includes names of system suppliers, licensors, and component suppliers.

All the new plants will have efficient electrostatic precipitators or fabric filters for particulate control. Some older plants with inefficient precipitators are being replaced with fabric filters. These projects are also identified.

Chinese Utility Plans identifies a number of NOx removal projects incorporating selective catalytic reduction (SCR). It also identifies component suppliers. Presently the catalyst suppliers are offshore companies.

Suppliers of power plant components such as boilers, pulverizers, air heaters, and fans are also identified. Many of the suppliers of these components are offshore companies. Confusion over the English spelling of Chinese plant names has made it difficult for these suppliers to properly analyse Chinese activity. Since this database has been carefully compiled to eliminate errors and since it is continually updated, it will eliminate this confusion.

Mcilvaine Company

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