This is the conclusion in the latest update of Electrostatic Precipitators: World Markets published by the McIlvaine Company. East Asia will be the largest market for new systems as well as for repair parts and service. China will install nearly 50,000 MW of new precipitators for utility power plants in 2014. With an installed price of $50/kW, this will result in an investment over $2.5 billion. China will also be installing precipitators on industrial boilers and other sources. In NAFTA and Western Europe, the new system market will be small compared to repair and service. The reason is that both regions have very large installed bases of precipitators but small markets for new coal-fired generators, steel mills and pulp/paper plants. Furthermore, new power plants in both these regions are more likely to be equipped with fabric filters than electrostatic precipitators. India is buying large numbers of precipitators for coal-fired power plants. This is creating a much larger market for new systems than for repair and service. However, the ash in Indian coals is abrasive and there is a high ratio of ash to total coal burned. This creates special maintenance problems. Chinese suppliers dominate the market for new precipitators in Asia. Alstom is the market leader in Europe and North America. Major suppliers are also based in Japan and Korea. The biggest challenge for precipitator suppliers is the more stringent regulatory environment. Precipitators are sensitive to the type of particulate being captured. So, when fuels change, the precipitator performance changes. Fabric filters are not sensitive to the dust characteristics and are, therefore, more likely to be selected when the mandated emission limits are low. The competition between precipitators and fabric filters injects a variable factor relative to forecasting. Precipitator suppliers are making improvements to achieve higher efficiency. On the other hand, new regulations in China limiting emissions to 20 MG/NM3 raise doubts about the ability of precipitators to meet the requirements. The new air toxic regulations in the U.S. use particulate as a surrogate for heavy metals and, therefore, require very low emissions.
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