Non-greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants in China, CCC/196

Author(s): Andrew Minchener

Ref: CCC/196
ISBN: 978-92-9029-516-7
Published Date: 01/04/2012
No. of Tables: 24
No. of Figures: 2
No. of Pages: 53

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Within the Twelth Five-Year Plan, the Chinese Government has made addressing air quality problems a key environmental priority, with an intention to accelerate the development of systems, institutions and a technical knowledge base for sustained improvement. A major focus is on the coal power sector for which standards have been introduced that require the installation of modern, very high efficiency SO2, NOx and particulates emissions control systems. Nine key regions, which are facing very significant air quality challenges, are the three major economic zones around the cities of Beijing, Shanghai (Yangtze River Delta) and Guangzhou (Pearl River Delta), together with six areas around the cities of Shenyang, Changsha, Wuhan, Chengdu Chongqing, the Shandong peninsula, and the coastal area west of the Taiwan strait. These regions comprise the population and economic centres of the country, accounting for 64% of national GDP, 43% of total energy use, and 39% of the population. In these locations, all existing and new coal-fired power plants will have to achieve particulate, SO2 and NOx emissions limits of 20, 50 and 100 mg/m3 respectively, with new plants expected to meet the standards from 1 January 2012 and existing plants by 1 July 2014. At the same time, there will be an increasing emphasis on limiting any new coal-fired power plants in these regions. For the rest of the country, the standards are not quite so strict and the SO2 limits for existing plants are less severe than for new plants. The new pollutant that will be regulated on coal-fired power plants is mercury and its compounds, for which the limit has been set at a level that represents a core control. This means that providing the power plant operator meets the new particulate, SO2 and NOx standards then the mercury standard should be met without the need to introduce an additional capture device, although the emissions level will have to be measured on a regular basis. From a global perspective, this major Chinese environmental initiative will lead to a fundamental shift in the market for power plant air pollution control systems and services, which will mean that, in due course, there will be some major Chinese suppliers that are well positioned to exploit international sales opportunities.

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