Interview with Mahesh Nandurkar, Member of Board, MET Corporation
What are the biggest challenges that thermal power plants face today in meeting emission control requirements?
There are quite a few challenges being faced by thermal power plants (TPPs) today such as space constraints, lack of holistic and sustainable technology assessment, scarcity of good AQCS suppliers, shutdown time needed for upgrade of pollution control equipment, stressed balance sheets, long-term visibility concerns due to enhanced availability of solar and wind power.
What are some of the new and promising AQCS technology trends?
Many leading AQCS technology companies have been relentlessly working on finding innovative solutions for the abatement of SOx, NOx and SPM. In the de-SOx arena, the use of alternate or cheaper reagents is getting major attention by users. Ultra supercritical combustion technology can help achieve thermal efficiency of around 45 per cent as compared to old subcritical technology with 34 per cent efficiency. Each percentage point improvement in efficiency significantly reduces CO2 emissions from coal power plants by over 2 percentage points, resulting in almost 20 per cent less CO2 generation per MW as compared to the old subcritical coal plant. This can be further enhanced by the combined application of advanced emission controls equipment that can remove local pollutants such as NOx, SO2 and particulate matter.
What are some of the emission control technologies most relevant for Indian thermal power plants? What are MET’s solutions and key offerings in this regard?
MET is one of the premier AQCS technology companies in the US, trusted for its robust and innovative technologies, especially in field of DeSOx and SPM control. Indian coal is one of the worst in the world with extremely high resistive dust and low sulphur content. New norms laid by the CPCB for SOx and SPM emissions mandate all power plants to install flue gas desulphurisers (FGDs) and upgrade their electrostatic precipitators.
MET has one of the world’s best dry and wet FGD technologies and it has a demonstrated capability to use almost any kind of alkalis as a reagent. Further, MET has its patented technology for “ammonium sulphate FGD”, in which ammonia is used as reagent. This technology has numerous advantages. These include:
- Use of low cost coal (high sulphur) that hitherto remained unused
- Production of ammonium sulphate fertilisers, which is much needed for the country
- Revenue generation from emission control plants
- Lower operating costs as waste product disposal is eliminated
- Minimised waste water discharge as compared to conventional FGDs
- Water soluble chemistry, which prevents any internal build up versus the scaling, normallyassociated with limestone FGDs
- Ammonia reagent being more reactive than limestone, the FGD SO2 removal efficiency is over 98 per cent
- Precludes CO2 greenhouse gas emissions associated with calcium-based WFGDs
- Return of investment is less than 48 months typically
MET US, which was acquired by Kraft Powercon AB in November 2019, brings to the market the most advanced power supply available in the industry, Pulse Kraft. This technology has phenomenal advantages, especially for Indian ESP upgrade market including:
- Ultra low capex
- Right technology for extremely high resistivity ash
- No change in the footprint of ESPs
- No additional collection area is needed
- No change of dust discharge system
- Minimal plant shutdown needed, hence minimum revenue loss to TPPs
- Future scalability; modular offering
- Almost 40 per cent lower power consumption compared to conventional ESP upgrade technology
What are some of the key AQCS contracts/projects being implemented or are under implementation by MET?
MET is currently executing a couple of ammonium sulphate FGD contracts in North America. Recently, we started our operations in India. Our group company has already executed a few ESP upgrade contracts with one of the aluminium majors of India and a few contracts are in the pipeline.
With MET’s recent acquisition by KraftPowercon, what are some of the synergies expected? What are the company’s growth plans?
MET Global is owned by KraftPowercon AB and as shared earlier, MET is the solution arm of the group. MET focuses on selective geographies with our patented technologies such as ammonium sulphate, potassium sulphate FGD technology for the DeSox market. MET is actively pursuing the ESP performance upgrade market in India with PulseKraft technology of KraftPowercon. MET is the latest entrant in the Indian market with the best of technology and assured attractive return on investment, which is the real need of Indian TPPs.