China is currently undertaking a much bigger power plant air quality improvement program than any other country in the world, according to a report by McIlvaine Company ( China presently has more scrubber projects; it is second only to the U.S. in terms of NOx control projects; and it is the world’s leading supplier and purchaser of electrostatic precipitators for dust control.

China is starting up more new coal-fired power plants (with pollution control equipment) in one month than any other country is starting in a year. In June 2007, the following plants started commercial operation:

  • Hua’neng Yimin Phase II Unit #4, 600 MW, started commercial operation June 19
  • Guizhou Dafang Power Unit #3, 600 MW, started commercial operation June 27
  • Xichuan Guang’an Power Ltd Unit # 6, passed the 168 hour test on June 30
  • Fuzhou Jiangyin, Unit #1, 600 MW, started operation on June 23

There are over 300 units slated to be fitted with FGD. Nearly all the units are being built under license from Japanese, European, and U.S. companies.

Over 70 units will be fitted with selective catalytic reduction systems (SCR) in the next few years. Catalyst has already been ordered for more than 30 units.

China is also addressing particulate matter and toxic metal emissions. The first continuous mercury monitor has just been ordered. There is a big effort to upgrade the continuous monitors for SOx and NOx and to enforce compliance with emission standards.

The majority of the coal-fired plants in China have been built in recent years. A number of these units are of the efficient super critical design licensed from offshore boiler manufacturers. However, the first two Chinese made super critical units are now under construction at Huadian Pucheng Power.

By comparison, the U.S. fleet of boilers is more than 40 years old on average. Therefore, the potential greenhouse gas emissions per unit of power are lower in China than in the U.S.

Offshore suppliers are supplying large quantities of plant components to these plants. This includes scrubber nozzles, SCR catalyst, air heaters, dampers and fans.