The McIlvaine Company

$14 Trillion to be spent on Power Plant Equipment and Repairs in the Next 25 Years


Source: The McIlvaine Company

Nuclear capacity is slated to increase from 392 GW in 2013 to more than 620 GW in 2040. But its share of global power generation will rise just one percentage point to 12 percent, because almost 200 reactors of the 434 operational at the end of 2013 will be retired, they will need to be offset by new power plants. Total investment will exceed $2 trillion over the next 25 years.

The gas turbine combined cycle power generation market will grow by more than 300 GW to over 2 million GW by 2040. Replacements, upgrades and retirements all result in a net capital investment of $2.2 trillion.

Biomass capacity will be 300 GW in 2040. Wind capacity will be 1300 GW and solar 1000 GW.

By 2040 Chinese energy production will be twice that of the U.S. but per capital consumption will still be only half that of the U.S. The gas turbine market in China will be bolstered by the Chinese coal-to-gas program which will deliver gasified coal to turbine generators throughout the country.

India today is home to one-sixth of the world’s population and is its third-largest economy, but accounts for only 6 percent of global energy. Demand for coal in power generation and industry will surge increasing the share of coal to almost half of the energy mix and making India the largest source of growth in global coal use. By 2040, Asia is projected to account for 80 percent of coal consumed globally. Coal will remain the backbone of the power system in many countries.

Many components of coal and gas turbine generating plants need to be replaced frequently. Catalyst for a coal-fired power plant is replaced every 3-5 years and every 10 years for a gas turbine power plant. Boiler feedwater valves will be replaced more frequently in a gas turbine power plant due to the constant cycling and phenomena such as Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC). Slurry pumps, ball mills, fans and air pre-heaters in coal-fired power plants are in periodic need of replacement parts. Both coal and gas turbine operators are now more likely to use zero liquid discharge (ZLD) systems which are high maintenance systems.

Coal-fired power plants are switching from electrostatic precipitators to fabric filters. This results in
biannual purchases of new bags. Gas turbine plants now favor high efficiency inlet filters which are more expensive and need more frequent replacement than the low efficiency alternative.

The power plant generation market will be reviewed in a McIlvaine Hot Topic Hour at 10 a.m. CST on April 7.

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