The McIlvaine Company

Mercury Reduction Requirements Generate Billion Dollar Market Opportunity


Source: The McIlvaine Company

The new regulations to reduce mercury emissions are creating a market for products and services of hundreds of millions of dollars per year and a five year market in excess of $1 billion. This is the conclusion of the McIlvaine Company in its Air Pollution Management online service.  These totals are extracted from the more specific McIlvaine reports on air pollution monitoring and sampling, flue gas desulfurization, and fabric filters.

The U.S. represents the bulk of the market, but there is a significant market in other countries as well.  Over the next three years U.S. power plants will have to spend over $200 million just for continuous emissions monitors to measure mercury. A new market for testing the accuracy of the monitoring systems will add $50 million per year in service revenues.

Over 25 percent of the States will require power plants to reduce mercury on a faster time table than the national Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR).  This rule would not require significant investment in control hardware until 2015.  But with the State rules, an investment of more than $100 million will be required in the next three years.  By 2010 annual costs for mercury control will rise to $400 million.  Much of this will be for materials (e.g. activated carbon) and operation/maintenance costs.

After 2010 the percentage mercury capture will increase, but the actual cost of control will not.  This is because of the co-benefits of scrubbing of SO2.  Plants installing SO2 scrubbers will be able to reduce mercury sorbent costs.

The market in Europe will be smaller than in the U.S. and will be more concentrated in the waste incinerator segment.  Nevertheless, power plants which combust sewage sludge along with coal will have to invest in mercury controls.  Chinese power plants emit three times as much mercury as U.S. plants.  However, China represents a good longer range potential.

The cement industry represents a significant new market for mercury control.  Activated carbon injection will be needed at a number of cement plants due to new rules.

A number of companies will be participating in this rapidly growing market.  Suppliers of activated carbon and other sorbents will generate significant revenues.  Suppliers of systems will be dealing with a surge of orders.  Companies supplying engineering and testing services are already experiencing the increased demand.

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