300 New FGD Projects Planned In China

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Source: The McIlvaine Company

In the 11th plan from 2006-2010 the six major Chinese utilities will install 300 new SO2 flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems.  Each of these projects is identified in the Utility Environmental Upgrade Tracking System published by the McIlvaine Company.

To put this in perspective, the U.S. is the leading constructor of scrubber systems.  But only 222 systems have been installed on utility units between 1968 and 2004.  Even with all the new scrubbers being mandated by the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), the U.S will not be able to maintain its #1 position. 

The Chinese will surpass the U.S. coal-fired utility capacity between 2010-2012.  Since they plan to install FGD on all units and the U.S. has not yet made that commitment, it is only a matter of a few years before China becomes the scrubber leader.  Other countries have far fewer units. Third on the list is Germany with 100 FGD units and only a few under construction.

Contrary to reports that scrubbers are planned but not built, units are being commissioned at a high rate.  McIlvaine is reporting the start dates and also reports when the systems pass the guarantee tests.  To date most of the systems have been built under license from offshore suppliers.  Major licensors include Babcock & Wilcox, Alstom, Marsulex, Austrian Energy, Lurgi Lentjes, Fisia Babock, Hitachi, Ducon, Wulff, and Mitsubishi.

There are a number of FGD projects being installed in other countries, but no one country has a huge number.  India is in the initial stages of what could be a big program.  Japan has 60 systems installed and a few underway.  South Korea and Taiwan have already installed scrubbers on existing plants.  So the relatively few projects are for new plants.

The curtailment of natural gas is creating FGD projects in unexpected places.  Chile has half a dozen FGD projects underway.  These are associated with boilers being converted from gas-firing to coal-firing.

Many of the FGD systems in Eastern Europe have already been installed as a result of entry requirements for the EU.  Turkey and Russia are developing markets.  There are a number of projects on the African continent mostly associated with new coal-fired plants rather than retrofitting of existing plants.

Most of the FGD systems now planned or under construction utilize limestone which contacts the gas as wet slurry.  In approximately 15 percent of the projects lime is injected in fluidized beds or through spray drying.

McIlvaine’s weekly Alert provides the latest developments.  A user friendly database identifies hundreds of parameters on every project.  The database also identifies particulate and NOx control projects.

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