Power generators will spend $390 billion in 2013 for new coal-fired boilers. Direct costs of equipment will be $260 billion while indirect costs will be $130 billion. This is the latest forecast of the McIlvaine Company in its Fossil & Nuclear Power Generation: World Analysis & Forecast.
There will be a mix of subcritical, supercritical and ultrasupercritical boilers. Most of the units installed by international suppliers will be ultrasupercritical. The capital investment is somewhat higher in the ultrasupercriticals, but the savings in the size of the air pollution control equipment makes the cost differential relatively small.
Most of the units which will be installed will utilize wet cooling. However, some units in China and elsewhere will install dry cooling systems. These add as much as 5 percent to the total plant investment. On the other hand, the cost of the Chinese plants will be only 60 percent of the cost for the same plant in the U.S. or Europe.
All new plants will have high efficiency particulate control (electrostatic precipitators or fabric filters). Most will be equipped with flue gas desulfurization systems. A substantial number will also incorporate selective catalytic reduction for NOx control.
Most of the new plants will use extensive wastewater treatment and some water recovery. A few will include zero liquid discharge which raises total capital costs by 4 percent. Many plants will be burning lower quality fuels. This increases the plant investment by more than 10 percent compared to the plants burning bituminous coals.
The investment in new coal-fired power plants in 2013 will exceed the investment in gas turbines and nuclear plants combined.
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