NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                                MAY 2015

$25 Billion Annual Market for Coal-fired Power Plant Air Pollution Upgrades

Thousands of coal-fired power plants around the world will need to upgrade or replace air pollution control equipment in the coming years.  This will result in an annual expenditure of over $25 billion.  This does not include consumables such as dust bags or reagents (lime, ammonia, etc.).  This conclusion was reached by aggregating information contained in a number of McIlvaine Company reports. (

Major markets will be the U.S., Europe and China. However, there will be significant expenditures in Russia, Chile, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia.  The drivers will be:

  • New environmental regulations
  • Age and deterioration of existing air pollution control systems
  • Efficiency improvements
  • Availability of new technology

China will be the largest market due to its extensive fleet of coal-fired boilers, new tough regulations, and corrosion issues at existing power plants.  Over 100,000 MW of FGD systems will be upgraded.  Many of the existing precipitators will be upgraded or replaced with fabric filters.  In some cases, wet electrostatic precipitators will be placed downstream of existing scrubbers.

The U.S. has just implemented new air toxic rules.  The enforcement of ambient air quality rules in the individual states may result in the Los Angeles level of stringency.  Because it is impossible to site a new power plant, owners are upgrading old power plants. The cost of an upgrade is likely to be more than the air pollution control investment at a new power plant.

Europe is maintaining a base fleet of coal-fired power plants.  It continues to tighten emission limits. So upgrades are periodically required.  Russia, Chile and South Africa are among the countries which are tightening particulate limits and forcing power plants to install fabric filters.  Removal of the precipitator internals and their replacement with bags is becoming increasingly common.

There are NOx upgrades and replacements taking place in the U.S., China, Taiwan, Japan and Europe.  These are forecast in: N035 NOx Control World Market 

FGD upgrades and retrofits are also being undertaken in the same countries plus a few others.  The revenues for these upgrades are forecasted in: N027 FGD Market and Strategies   

The impact of new regulations impacting the use of fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators is analyzed in:   N021 World Fabric Filter and Element Market and N018 Electrostatic Precipitator World Market

The U.S. and China are leading the way in mercury control for coal-fired power plants. Many countries require mercury control at waste incinerators.  This market is analyzed in: N056 Mercury Air Reduction Market

New continuous emissions monitoring and process control systems are replacing older ones at coal-fired power plants around the world.  Many countries now require mass particulate monitoring to replace the older opacity measurement systems.  This opportunity is analyzed in: N031 Air and Water Monitoring: World Market

All the specific projects are tracked at: 42EI Utility Tracking System