NEWS RELEASE NOVEMBER 2016
$10 Billion/yr. FGD Market
Coal-fired power plants will spend $10 billion/yr. to remove SO2 over the next few years. This includes the capital investment, repair, replacement and consumables. The capital investment will be lower than at a peak in 2010 but the other segments continue to grow. The various factors are continually assessed in McIlvaine’s N027 FGD Market and Strategies.
Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) is a term used to describe SO2 removal from coal-fired power plants. The U.S. will continue to operate more than 200,000 MW of FGD systems, but will not build new coal-fired power plants. China already operates four times as many coal-fired power plants as the U.S. and will continue to build more but at a reduced rate. The big variable is the use of FGD for coal-fired power plants in India, Vietnam and Indonesia. There are new SO2 regulations in India. The limits vary by age and size of the boiler. Power plants in coastal areas are likely to use seawater as the scrubbing liquor. This approach reduces capital cost and eliminates the costly lime or limestone.
Another variable is the type of FGD which will be employed. Dry FGD necessitates purchase of lime or sodium. These reagents are much costlier than limestone. But dry FGD requires much less capital investment than wet limestone. India suffers from lack of water and is likely to lean toward the dry methods. On the other hand, the wet limestone results in salable gypsum while dry FGD results in a waste which must be landfilled or converted to low value construction products. One option is a two-stage scrubbing system which results in both sulfuric and hydrochloric acid byproducts. This design also has the potential to separate rare earths at a much lower cost than the methods being researched by the USDOE and the Chinese government.
There is a large and growing market to maintain and operate FGD systems. Remote monitoring allows a vendor to cost effectively support operations thousands of miles away.
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