Indian Market for Emission Control Expected to Explode

Ravi Krishnan, India, Power Market, Thermal Power Plants, NOx, Emission Control

Written by Ravi Krishnan, Managing Director of Webcast Experts, a division of Krishnan & Associates

The Indian Ministry of Environment & Forests (MOE&F) recently announced stringent emission standards to regulate Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Particulate Matter emissions. These norms are stringent by any yardstick and comparable with standards in most Western countries. For NOx emission control, targets will vary depending on the commissioning date and size of the plant. In short, NOx standards in the range of 600 mg/Nm3 to as low as 100 mg/Nm3 for NOx will have to be achieved in a fairly short period of time. The targets levels call for some of the best available control technologies to be installed at Indian Power Plants.

Ravi Krishnan, India, Power Market, Thermal Power Plants, NOx, Emission Control

Technology Options

In order to meet the 100 mg/Nm3 standard, Indian plants will have to utilize Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to achieve compliance. However, plants required to achieve the 300 mg/Nm3 standard can potentially attain this through a combination of in furnace, combustion controls and SNCR technology.  

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) refers to a technology that is a proven and effective method to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from coal-fired power plants. The technology injects ammonia into the flue gas and reduces NOx in the presence of a catalyst. In furnace approaches refer to non-catalytic technologies such as Low NOx burners, Overfire Air and SNCR systems. SNCR refers to injecting a reagent such as urea into the furnace flue gas in an appropriate temperature window to lower NOx. In some cases, SCR may still be required to get the 300 mg/Nm3 standard depending on the size of units and the type of coal utilized. 


Market Expected to Explode

With nearly 100,000 MW of the 168,000 MW of existing coal-fired plants impacted by these new NOx emission standards and new coal plants being commissioned at the rate of 10,000 MW annually, the market for emission control is very real. A number of US, European, Chinese & Indian boiler manufacturers and environmental technology providers are expected to provide these technologies. The installed cost for such new pollution control systems are expected to range between $5-$30/kW depending on the NOx emissions achieved. 

These costs were not anticipated by Indian power plants and therefore there is currently no mechanism to pass the additional capital cost to the rate payer or customer. Therefore, power producers are embarking on a low cost approach to achieving compliance both in terms of capital cost and variable costs. Historically, Indian power plants think more in terms of low capital cost as opposed to lowest lifecycle costs. This is where the Chinese suppliers are likely to have a short-term advantage!

I am teaching a course titled AQCS & Environmental Opportunities in the Indian Power Market on Wednesday August 3rd, 2016. Many of you may find the contents useful for your strategic planning efforts to develop the Indian market. Share this with your colleagues it would be great to have you in my online classroom.