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Improving Efficiencies of Coal-Fired Power Plants in Developing Countries

AUTHOR: Colin Henderson
DATE: January 2003

This report examines the causes of the low thermal efficiency observed in many pulverised coal fired power stations in developing countries and identifies solutions that have been and could be further applied to enable the efficiency to be increased. Application of measures to alleviate the reduction in efficiency will provide benefits in terms of fuel savings and emissions avoided. The scale of the problem is assessed in overviews of coal-fired power generation in China, India and other countries. Plant-related and fuel quality-related issues that can affect performance are introduced and the mechanisms through which they operate to reduce efficiency discussed. Ways of maintaining efficiency close to design values are considered by examining first the practices in OECD countries. Case studies are presented, including experience with high ash coals, and potential reductions in greenhouse gas and other emissions are estimated. Research and development requirements are identified.