NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    APRIL 2015

Peaks and Valleys in the World FGD Market

The required investment for a 1000 MW FGD system is $200 million. If the unit must be retrofitted to an existing power plant, the investment could exceed $300 million, so orders for 10 large systems can make a $3 billion dollar difference in the market.

The history of the industry includes large peaks and valleys. The peaks come as one country passes regulations which generate a large short-term market.  There may be an interval until there is another significant regulation somewhere else.

New FGD system yearly peaks have been over $15 billion and valleys as low as $2 billion.  This activity has been tracked for more than 40 years in FGD Market and Strategies. McIlvaine analysts have experience dating back to the first commercial FGD system at Union Electric in 1968.

The future markets for systems will continue to fluctuate. However, the market for operating and maintenance, including repair, will continue to increase at a steady rate. Sales of reagents such as lime and limestone continue to expand at rates well above GDP.

Many of the systems in the U.S. and Europe are more than 30 years old.  New components are required regularly. Slurry valves and pumps are examples.  Due to the corrosive and abrasive nature of the process, major equipment replacements are also needed.  System suppliers such as B&W have recognized the market opportunity and have built a substantial aftermarket business.

A large market is developing to upgrade systems to meet tighter limits. The EU, U.S. and China are all forcing operators to upgrade the efficiency of existing units.

New technology will also play a big role in the future FGD market.  Here are some of the developments:

  • Two stage HCl and SO2 scrubbing with use of the HCl scrubber to leach rare earths and metals from the flyash.
  • One stop shopping with catalytic filter and DSI to remove all pollutants at one point.
  • Activated carbon injection ahead of and in the FGD scrubber to remove mercury, prevent re-emissions, and ensure that the gypsum is mercury free.
  • Use of chemical fixation instead of gypsum production to lower system costs and provide encapsulation of toxic metals (eliminates costly wastewater treatment).
  • Continuing penetration of dry scrubbing including circulating dry scrubbers, spray drier absorbers and direct sorbent injection.
  • Replacement of spray towers with more efficient scrubbing techniques.

All of these developments and the future markets are predicted in N027 FGD Market and Strategies.

The projects are tracked in 42EI Utility Tracking System