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Prospects for Upgrading Coal-Fired Power Plants

AUTHOR: Hermine Nalbandian and Anne M Carpenter
DATE: December 2000

Upgrading ageing power plants can be a cost-effective option for extending their residual life, increasing life, increasing capacity, efficiency and performance, reducing operating and maintenance costs, enhancing reliability and availability, and/or securing compliance with stricter environmental legislation.

This report discusses the prospects and market opportunities for upgrading conventional pulverised coal-fired plants. It covres the retrofitting and upgrading of pulvreisers and their fuel distribution system, particulate control, flue gas desulphurisation, and NOx abatement and control measures. Process optimisation to minimise pollutant formation and improve boiler efficiency is also described.

The two repowering options covered are circulating fluidised bed boilers and the integration of a natural gas turbine to form a combined cycle. A case study of a refurbished or repowered plant for each of these options is included. However, the requirements and technical condition of each power plant are likely to be different. Each candidate plant therefore requires detailed technical, economic, financial, legal and environmental analyses before any major performance improvement plan is proposed.