Whether it”s consumables such as activated carbon or SCR catalysts or whether it”s big equipment such as reverse-osmosis systems or wind turbines, it will be Chinese activity that determines the price of these systems going forward, according to a report by the McIlvaine Company (www.mcilvainecompany.com).
As such, McIlvaine says U.S.-based power plants should plan catalyst purchases based on two factors ¬– first, the demand in China will be larger than the present world capacity, increasing cost in the short-term; and second, there will be new Chinese suppliers entering the U.S. market, decreasing price in the longer term.
The U.S. has averaged 10,000 megawatts (MW) per year of new SCR NOx control systems since 1991, according to McIlvaine. Meanwhile, McIlvaine says the total world outside China has managed to only install 300,000 MW of these systems since 1980. China plans to install 400,000 MW by 2020, and it has in a few years installed more MW of SCR than any country other than the U.S. By 2020, McIlvaine predicts the Chinese catalyst need will be 25 percent greater than the present world manufacturing capacity. By 2012, McIlvaine says Dongfang and Sino Environment will have combined manufacturing capacity in China of 23,000 m3, but this will be only 15 percent of the 2020 requirement.
In 40 years, McIlvaine says the world outside China has managed to install 382,000 MW of flue gas desulfurization scrubbers. Meanwhile, in less than a decade China has installed 326,000 MW. By 2020, McIlvaine predicts China will be operating 658,000 MW of FGD Systems, requiring twice the limestone used in plants outside China today. It will also need to buy more slurry pumps, nozzles, and agitators than are used in FGD systems outside China today.
Similarly, McIlvaine says the installation of wind turbines in China is quickly exceeding the most optimistic predictions, with nearly 10,000 MWs of new capacity is being installed every year. Since the typical turbine installed in China is under 1 MW, this means over 10,000 gearboxes, wind turbine blades, etc. will be needed each year, according to McIlvaine. In just a few short years, McIlvaine says China has not only planned and installed many large wind farms, but it has also developed a large China-based industry, and it plans to become an exporter of wind turbines and components in the near term.
China is also a major player in many of the water segments, according to McIlvaine. With its arid climate and contaminated freshwater sources, desalination is playing a big role. The Chinese stimulus package is already accelerating the largest wastewater treatment effort of any country.
In the coming years, McIlvaine predicts the cost and availability of environmental and energy products and systems will be increasingly influenced by China.