China is in the process of transitioning from a 100 percent importer of power plant catalysts to the world”s largest supplier, with eight companies gearing up to deliver 73,000 cubic meters of selective catalytic reactor (SCR) catalysts per year, according to a study by McIlvaine Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com). The study, titled NOx Control World Markets, predicts much of this capacity will be in place by 2010, driven by China’s rapidly growing demand for electricity.

McIlvaine predicts coal-fired power plants will continue to be the dominant source of electric power in China in the near term, resulting in NOx emissions and smog. As a result, McIlvaine says the Chinese government with strong public support is moving rapidly to install the latest pollution controls.

With the new capacity additions, China will have 38 percent of the world”s catalyst manufacturing capacity and the U.S. will be the second largest producer with 22 percent, according to McIlvaine. Twenty years ago all the power plant catalyst production was in Europe and Japan. European production is down due to the Haldor Topsoe (www.topsoe.com) decision to move its production to the U.S. and KWH Catalysts’ (www.k-w-h.de) decision to move production to China.

China has a very large power plant construction program, according to McIlvaine. By 2020 there will be over 900,000 MW of coal-fired boilers. Over 60 percent will be fitted with SCR. This 540,000 MW of SCR compares to a worldwide total today of 300,000 MW. The McIlvaine forecast for SCR at U.S. coal plants in 2020 is 290,000 MW. Germany will have less than 20 percent as much SCR as China, and no other country will have even 10 percent as much.

Due to high SCR demand going forward, McIlvaine predicts China will be a big market for suppliers of components, such as ammonia pumps, fans needed to overcome the additional resistance of the SCR, continuous emission monitors, optimization systems and static mixers. McIlvaine believes much of the demand in China will be met by Chinese suppliers.