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Power Station Refurbishment: Opportunities for Coal

AUTHOR: David H. Scott
DATE: October 1991

Reviews the opportunities for coal in power station projects aimed at upgrading and refurbishment of existing sites, where advantage can be taken of an existing license for power generation. The report relates some of the problems which utilities have encountered in the planning and execution of such projects and makes comparisons with new site options.

Whereas planning and construction of a utility power station on a new site, including necessary licensing procedures, can involve a lead time of about 10 years from first inception, upgrading offers the prospects of shorter routes to increased generating capacity, with less risk and lower capital investment.

Early attempts to implement particular schemes revealed drawbacks to this approach both in terms of site constraints and, in some cases, unforseen modifications to licensing requirements. The report includes examples of successful plant upgrades including the use of 'clean coal technology to overcome such constraints and facilitate staged commitment of capital in relatively small independently justifiable projects.