The market for electrostatic precipitators is rising, despite the increasing frequency with which fabric filters are chosen, says a new report from the McIlvaine Company. Between 2005 and 2008 the market for electrostatic precipitator systems will rise 28% from $2.6 billion to $3.3 billion per year. Of the two basic types of electrostatic precipitators the market for wet precipitators is growing much faster than for dry, largely due to the ability of wet systems to capture sulphuric acid mist. Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to reduce NOx in combination with SO2 scrubbers increase quantities of sulphuric acid and will help double sales of wet precipitators worldwide from 2001 levels of $330 million to over $660 million in 2008. The biggest market for dry precipitators is in China. In 2005 over 40% of the orders for new dry precipitators will be for installation in Chinese plants, the report says. The supplier industry has also changed radically over the years with the largest suppliers today coming from China. However, some utilities are expected to switch to fabric filters rather than enlarge or replace existing precipitators, a move expected to be driven in part by toughening limits on mercury emissions. Fabric filters have advantages over precipitators in the removal of mercury with the use of activated carbon.

In a separate report on the market for scrubbers, McIlvane identifies more than 500 big projects in planning or construction through to 2012. Again China is currently the biggest market, though the US has more in the planning phase. In Europe and the US, the bulk of these projects are for retrofits on existing plants while in Asia new plants predominate. However, a significant number of Chinese retrofits are slated. Taiwan, South Korea and India will also be relatively large purchasers. The vast majority of these projects will use limestone or lime either in wet, dry or semi dry scrubbing systems. A few projects will use ammonia to make fertiliser and some will produce sulphuric acid or elemental sulphur.

Meanwhile, Alstom has signed two license agreements with Chinese companies to market wet FGD technology and fabric filter technology in China. Insigma Technology Ltd will now market, sell and supply Alstom’s proprietary open spray tower technology for wet FGD systems while Zhejiang Feida Environmental Science & Technology Co will market, sell and supply Alstom proprietary fabric filter technology for particulate removal.

Alstom also recently won a contract to supply an esp for the Ilo copper smelter, owned by southern peru copper corp. the equipment will be supplied by July, 2005.

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