NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    FEBRUARY 2016

Power Plant Valve Market Shifting to Asia

A number of factors are causing major shifts in power plant valve purchases. These changes are being continually evaluated in N028 Industrial Valves: World Market.

The market for valves in the power industry is being shaped by:

  • Increasing need for energy in developing countries
  • Changes in fuel availability and price
  • Regulations which impact the valve expenditures per unit of electricity capacity
  • Changes in the mix of generation technologies

Developing countries are moving ahead with coal-fired power plants.  The U.S. is building a number of gas turbine-fired power plants while Europe is relying on growth in renewable energy. So the result of this activity is a regional shift in valve markets.

Regulations are impacting valve expenditures.  Limits on water discharges are generating markets for zero liquid discharge (ZLD) systems. Concentrated wastewater is processed in evaporators.  Steam is regenerated with compressors, so a number of high performance valves are needed.

Limits on SO2 emissions are creating large markets for knife gate valves used with lime and gypsum slurry transport.

The long term market outlook is most impacted by the trend toward generation technologies which needed lower investments in valves. Nuclear power plants need a greater valve investment than any alternative.  They require as much ultrapure water for steam generation as do coal-fired power plants. They outstrip alternatives relative to combustion valve requirements due to highly critical control of the nuclear reaction process. Substantial investment in valves is also required for water intakes, cooling water and wastewater treatment.  The fact that nuclear power is being phased out in some countries reduces the valve potential in those countries.

The valve investment per MW has been compared for each power generation technology and for each type of fluid being controlled.  This ranges from lubrication valves where flows are measured in fractions of a liter per hour to large valves in scrubber recycle systems in coal-fired power plants where the individual valve must handle 50,000 gpm and where one system may need eight of these valves.


Selection of valves for water intakes and cooling is essentially the same regardless of the generation type.  However, the nuclear sites need special safety protection. 


Similar valves are used in the steam cycles of coal, nuclear, CCGT and biomass power plants.  The difference is that gas turbine power plants generate only 40 percent of the power with steam.


Depending on the generator selection, the valve expenditure can vary by 400 to 1.  With the trend toward renewables in Europe the power plant valve market in this region will shrink. On the other hand, the Asian predilection for coal will result in good growth in this region over the next decade. For more information on N028 Industrial Valves: World Market, click on: