NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                                              April 2017

Tough Competition will limit Potential Indian Power Plant APC Market of $60 Billion to $30 Billion

India will be installing air pollution control equipment on existing as well as new generation units over the next five years. The purchases would exceed $60 billion if international prices prevailed. However, with very tough competition and low local fabrication costs, the market will be closer to $30 billion. Also, the scheduled time frame appears to be unrealistic at this point, so the revenues are likely to be spread out over more than seven years.

European and U.S. suppliers are not going to capture much of this market if they just take the cookie cutter route of limestone FGD, SCR and additional precipitator fields. It will simply be a repeat of the Chinese market where sales prices of systems were so low that international companies could not compete. However, there is a big profit opportunity for newer technology and for IIoT and Remote O&M.

The potential FGD market over the next five years is over $30 billion (international prices). Older units will need only 50 percent removal efficiency, so direct sorbent injection would appear to be a possible solution even with the use of the existing precipitators. But since the precipitators must be upgraded to meet new particulate standards, the use of DSI and fabric filters would be a good solution.

New units will need to meet 92 percent efficiency. CFB dry scrubbing or wet limestone scrubbers would be needed. On the other hand, there is a severe water shortage in India, so wet FGD will need to incorporate zero liquid discharge systems.

The forecast is based on an additional 100,000 MW of capacity coming on line in the next five years. This is well below the national target but is warranted based on failure in the past to meet new generation goals. In the latest five-year plan ending next year the capacity additions will fall short of plan by over 70,000 MW.

A NOx control market of over $17 billion will be created due to the new rules. The units installed before 2003 will probably only need to install low NOx burners and optimization systems. Units installed between 2003 and 2016 can install SNCR. The new units will need to install SCR unless some combination of innovative technologies will be adequate.

The technology under consideration at BHE PacifiCorp and the subject of nine hours of McIlvaine webinars would use SNCR with a novel reductant that would be a combination of H2O2 and urea. Ozone would be injected into the duct prior to the scrubber to achieve additional NOx removal.

Due to the high quantity of ash it may be time to think outside the box. All the early FGD systems in the U.S. were replacements for the existing precipitators. In some cases, a single stage venturi rod scrubber was used for both flyash and SO2.

It is important to note that SO2 scrubbers following relatively inefficient precipitators remove lots of particulate. There were a number of guarantees made by scrubber suppliers in the U.S. to reduce particulate from 0.2 lbs down to between  0.05- 0.1 lb/MMBtu due to capture of particulate in the SO2 scrubber.

Venturi rod scrubbers were successfully installed at Philadelphia Electric Eddystone and later at Cromby in systems engineered by United Engineers. They consisted of a first stage HCl and particulate scrubber and a second stage magnesium sulfite scrubber. The end product from the second scrubber and conversion at Essex Chemicals was sulfuric acid and rejuvenated magnesium oxide. A variation of this design could be used to produce rare earth feedstock and would be very cost effective.

Another option is just to use a one-stage scrubber and a wet ESP. This is the old Dravo Lime process with the wet ESP added to achieve particulate limits. NSP has operated a similar system.

The catalytic filter with dry sorbent injection (DSI) makes a lot of sense. It would meet the emission limits with one device rather than three. If it is desirable to sell the flyash the system could follow a multi tube cyclone. The big advantage of this route is recovery of heat. There is an 850°F hot clean gas stream for CHP or other purposes.

FLSmidth has a catalytic filter bag. It is fiberglass and good for temperatures up to 400°F. These are 33 ft. long bags so they could be inserted into an existing precipitator housing and provide the same gas flow.

With the big heat recovery potential, it may be time for India to consider a whole new approach to power generation. GE predicts that the future of power is distributed generation where the largest power plants are only 100 MW. The logic is that efficiency is doubled by combining heat and power. Some data centers are using up to 400 MW of power. So, larger plants can be located with the data centers but otherwise the plants would be built where district cooling/heating and industrial power and steam needs are high. If GE is right then this option will be important to India.

With the high flyash and modest emission reduction goals, there should be unique solutions applied to this market and not an approach which is just a cookie cutter approach to how it was done in China or the U.S.

One of the unique solutions is to embrace IIoT and Remote O&M. The new FGD, particulate, and NOx control systems can be remotely controlled and preventive maintenance scheduled for each of the components. One benefit of this is to eliminate the knowledge gap that exists due to lack of experience with these technologies.

Yara already has remote control centers and can monitor reagent performance and supply. Howden has the remote capability to monitor fan performance. Knife gate and other valve performance can be monitored by the valve suppliers. Reagent consumption and performance can be monitored by the lime or limestone suppliers. The overall system monitoring could be undertaken by the system supplier or a digital process management company.

McIlvaine has just conducted a webinar on IIoT and Remote O&M for coal-fired power plants. A session on Air Pollution Control IIoT and O&M is next Thursday, April 13 at 10:00 a.m.

Details on the Indian market for air pollution control technologies are found at:

ESP World Markets

Fabric Filter World Markets

FGD Market Strategies

You can sign up for the free IIoT and air pollution control webinar on Thursday at:  Weekly IIoT Webinars