China's coal-fired capacity overtakes US

Paul Boughton
China is continuing to invest in new coal-fired power plants and air pollution control.

China has had more coal-fired capacity than the US for some time. It has also had more electrostatic precipitators. Now it has surpassed any country in terms of flue gas desulfurisation (FGD) systems. In the not too distant future, it will become the number one operator of SCR systems for NOx Control.

The McIlvaine Company tracks each Chinese power project and also the retrofits of air pollution control systems in a service entitled Chinese Utility Plans. Here are some recent projects:

Coal units approved

On July 9, 2010, two 600MW supercritical units at Datang Huayin Youxian Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. The two units will consume about 2,900,000 tons of coal each year.

On July 18, 2010, under the 'Build Big & Close Small', policy, two units (2x600MW) at Datang Huaibei Hushan Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. Highly efficient dust removal, FGD and SCR will be installed.

On July 22, 2010, No. 3 and No. 4 units (2x1000MW) at Datang Guangdong Chaozhou Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. The two ultra supercritical units will be installed with limestone wet FGD and LNB. The general engineering technology will be designed by American Ever Cleaning Environmental,Inc.

On July 9, 2010, two units (2x300MW) at Guodian Jilin Longhua Changchun No. 1 Thermal Power Plant were approved by the National Development & Reform Committee. The total investment will be RMB $2.87 billion.

Air Quality Retrofits

The FGD project on the 125MW No. 5 unit at Huadian Inter Shiliquan Power Plant started construction on April 29, 2010 and will use the wet limestone-gypsum method. The engineering project general contractor is Wuhan Longjing Environmental Engineering Co Ltd.

On May 20, 2010, the SCR system on 1000MW No 2 unit at Huaneng Yuhuan Power Plant was put into commercial operation after 168-hour trial operation. The average NOx removal efficiency was 82.53 per cent and the designed NOx removal efficiency was 80 per cent. All four units (4x1000MW) at Huaneng Yuhuan Power Plant are planned to be retrofit with SCR systems.

On June 7, 2010, the SCR system on a 300MW unit at Guangdong Yudean Group Power Plant was put into commercial operation after 168-hour trial operation. This project started construction on January 16, 2010.

Continuous emissions monitors

Meanwhile, the world market for continuous emissions monitors (CEMS) for ambient as well as stack applications will exceed $1 billion/yr by 2012. This includes the analysers, software and accompanying service revenues.

An additional $1 billion/yr will be spent for intermittent stack sampling. An even larger market will be created for optimisation systems which integrate the signals of emissions analyzers to meet regulatory requirements while maximising process efficiency and minimizing life cycle costs.

These are the latest forecasts in the McIlvaine Company's Air Pollution Monitoring and Sampling: World Markets.

The biggest single market is coal-fired boilers in Asia. Large numbers of new plants will need stack monitoring systems to measure SO2, NOx, opacity, CO and O2. In addition, a number of Chinese plants are retrofitting SO2 and NOx reduction systems. This will require adding additional sets of monitors to existing stack systems.

US cement plants will spend over $60 million to upgrade their CEM systems over the next two years. They will need to install analysers to measure mercury, hydrocarbons, HCl and particulate. Cement plants in developing countries provide opportunities for the sales of opacity monitors.

Coal-fired power plants in the US have already spent over $200 million to measure mercury. Now with pending air toxic rules, they will need to measure HCl and organics. HCl monitors cost more than $100,000 each. So this market alone will be over $80million.

In Europe as well as the US there will be an expanding market for continuous emissions monitors to measure greenhouse gases including CO2 and methane. Fossil-fired power plants, cement kilns, and waste-to-energy plants will need to provide accurate measurement of these emissions.

The ambient market includes government networks needed to ascertain air quality throughout an area. The biggest markets for these systems will be in the developing countries. There is also a need for fence-line monitoring at energy, mining and chemical facilities.

The market for stack and ambient intermittent sampling services is equal to the equipment market. Some pollutants such as SO2 and NOx can be measured with a minimum of sophisticated equipment. However, mercury, toxic organics and some other pollutants require extensive equipment and considerable technical competence.

There is considerable potential for additional services to measure air toxics from major US sources. These sources are required to report emissions of hundreds of individual pollutants annually, but there is no enforcement of precise measurement.

There are relatively few companies making the more technically advanced analysers. ThermoFisher and Teledyne are examples of these companies. They tend to be international. Substantial research is required for each instrument developed. Expensive validation may be required in both the US and Europe. This creates a barrier of entry for smaller competitors.

The stack sampling companies are generally smaller and have limited geographic scope. Thousands of these companies are competing for the smaller projects. Coal-fired power plants, waste-to-energy plants and other large complex facilities require a number of testers for any project. As a result, there are relatively few testing companies competing for this business.

Industrial valves

The world market for industrial valves will grow from $44 billion this year to $52 billion in 2015. This is the latest forecast in Industrial Valves: World Markets published by the McIlvaine Company.

The biggest growth will be in power and wastewater in East Asia. The west Asian market will grow by 50 percent during the period. The market in Western Europe will only grow by 6 per cent during the period.

Control valves are the leading product segment. There is increasing demand for 'smart valves' which can communicate conditional and operational information remotely. The nuclear industry has again become a growth market for valve suppliers. The newest reactor designs use fewer valves than existing ones. However the life extension programs at existing nuclear plants provide a substantial revenue stream. Some markets are growing while others are shrinking. Valves for regasification facilities in the US were a big potential a few years ago. Now the potential lies in gas shale. Many valves are required during the shale fracturing and gas extraction phases.

Asia is the dominant market for valves used in semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing. It is also the big market for valves for new cement plants. However there is a big retrofit potential at existing US cement plants. These plants need to comply with a new air toxic rule. This will result in purchases of knife gate valves for scrubber systems, control valves for pulsing new fabric filters, and rotary valves for new pneumatic conveying equipment.

The large number of new coal-fired power plants planned in Asia will drive the market for valves used with super critical coal-fired boilers. China is also leading the development of coal-to-liquids. At one time the Sasol coal-to-liquids plant in South Africa with 180,000 valves was the leading user of valves in the world.

Carbon sequestration is at the development stage but even now there is a substantial valve market. Valve purchases for the billion dollar plant demonstrating Oxyfuel combustion in Illinois will need to begin within the year. Valves for the Saskpower project could be ordered as early as January 2011.

The valve market is served by 37 global suppliers with more than $100 million in valve sales and by 7,000 smaller companies. The top four suppliers enjoy valve sales over $1 billion each. There are only eight suppliers with valves sales in excess of $500 million.

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