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April 4, 2013

MHI to license FGD technologies to India's BHEL

Gerald Ondrey

On April 3, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI; Tokyo, Japan; concluded an agreement with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL; New Delhi, India), a state-owned heavy electrical-equipment manufacturer, under which MHI will license its fluegas-desulfurization (FGD) technologies to BHEL. The licensing agreement covers MHI's EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) technologies for limestone/gypsum-based and seawater-based fluegas desulfurization systems for coal-fired boilers used in power generation applications and for industrial boilers. The event marks the first time a Japanese company is to provide fluegas desulfurization technologies to a licensee in India.

Fluegas desulfurization systems clean the fluegas emitted during the combustion of coal and other fuels by removing the sulfur dioxide contained in such gas. MHI's desulfurization technology is distinguished by the adoption of a liquid column tower that improves the efficiency of contact between the fluegas and the absorption liquid, resulting in outstanding SO2 absorption performance.

In the liquid column tower method, limestone slurry is sprayed upward from the lower area of an absorption tower. Twice — on ascending and again on descending — the slurry liquid makes contact with the fluegas, causing a reaction whereby the SO2 content is removed. In addition to featuring a simpler structure than conventional systems, this method enables outstanding SO2 removal performance.

BHEL has been eager to introduce advanced desulfurization technologies ahead of India's anticipated tightening of the country's environmental regulations going forward, in order to secure a leading position within this market. Meanwhile MHI has been looking to secure a foothold into the Indian market, where rapid growth in desulfurization equipment is expected. The aims of the two companies have thus meshed in the conclusion of the licensing agreement.

In India, today more than 60% of the country's electric power, approximately 100 gigawatts (GW), is produced by firing coal. But in tandem with economic development, in its 12th Five Year Plan (2012–2017) India plans to introduce additional coal-fired power plants to generate some 80 GW more. Presently the country's SO2 regulations have not come fully into force and installations of FGD equipment are limited. However, as India's air-pollution problems are becoming increasingly serious, moves toward tightening the nation's environmental regulations are under way, and demand for FGD equipment is expected to expand.

BHEL is India's largest heavy electrical equipment manufacturer, with 14 factories in its domestic network. The company's business portfolio spans from the manufacture and supply of such diverse equipment and facilities as boilers, steam turbines, gas turbines, hydraulic turbines, power generators and power transmission facilities, to construction of power plants on a full-turnkey basis. BHEL enjoys an overwhelming share in its domestic market for thermal power generation equipment. It also has a favorable relationship with MHI, as illustrated by MHI's licensing in 2007 of technology relating to the various pumps used in thermal power plants.




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