Driven by tightening environmental regulations, competition from natural gas plants, and public pressure for cleaner sources of electricity, utilities will retire record numbers of aging coal plants between 2013 and 2020. The coming wave of retirements offers significant opportunities to the companies that will carry out the decommissioning processes. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from coal plant decommissioning services will total $5.3 billion from 2013 to 2020.
“Utilities and other plant owners face a series of complex decisions in retiring aging coal plants,” says Richard Martin, editorial director with Navigant Research. “Developing a strategic plan, in consultation with a company that has experience in these major plant decommissioning projects, will be a critical element of the process of retiring these facilities and remediating the associated environmental issues.”
Actual demolition of the plant is not likely to be the most costly part of the decommissioning process, according to the report, and the value of the scrap metal from the plant on the open market will, in some cases, fully offset the cost of demolition. Environmental remediation will be the most expensive phase of many decommissioning projects. In particular, disposing of coal ash, typically stored in ponds onsite, will present a serious challenge in carrying out decommissioning projects.
The report, “Coal Plant Decommissioning”, examines the market for coal plant decommissioning, taking into account the full range of options for plant owners in deciding the fate of these facilities. The report includes forecasts for North America and Western Europe for both the number of coal plant retirements and the revenue from coal plant decommissioning, through 2020. Key players in this market are profiled, and conclusions and recommendations for both plant owners and providers of decommissioning services are provided as well. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.
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