French power and rail infrastructure provider Alstom is seeking partners to develop Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) applications in China, Philippe Joubert, president of Alstom Power said yesterday.
"Alstom is in discussions with several Chinese partners for developing CCS applications in the country," Joubert said in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, where Alstom unveiled its new boiler factory.
China is the largest market for boilers used in coal-fired power plants, which are a major source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The nation's power plants have been blamed for emitting more CO2 than the world average because they depend heavily on coal energy and use small power generators.
Beijing has already taken several measures to reduce CO2 emissions, including the use of CCS technology in power plants.
China's power giant Huaneng Group has already started CCS pilot projects last year. The group's Greengen zero-emissions project head said they will "start construction in 2014 and complete the work and start operations in 2016".
The Alstom Power president said full-scale commercialization of CCS would be available to market by 2015. In the past few years, Alstom has devoted efforts to develop 10 CO2 capture demonstration projects in six countries.
But wide application of CCS is controversial because the technology itself is cost-intensive. The Alstom chief, however, shrugged off the concerns and said, "the cost of CCS technology is declining very quickly and is now already comparable with that of wind energy".
Alstom Power has been keen to develop clean energy solutions. Its boiler technology in new supercritical and ultra-supercritical coal-fired plants is said to achieve 50 percent efficiency, according to the company. An efficiency improvement of 1 percent equals 2 to 3 percent less CO2 emitted.
The new energy-efficient factory will save 6,000 tons of CO2 each year and is the company's largest boiler manufacturing site in the world as well as exporting base and research and development center in the Asia Pacific.
With a capacity to produce 600 megawatts supercritical boilers and 1,000 megawatts ultra-supercritical boilers, the factory will export one third of its products to the rest of the world.
Alstom bought a 51-percent stake in Wuhan Boiler Company, a State-controlled company that's been making boilers for power plants for 50 years and is expected to play a key role in the country's large-scale construction of energy-efficient, low-emission thermal power plants.
Alstom designs, manufactures, supplies, installs and services more than 25 percent of the world's installed power generation base.