McIlvaine: Sales of fabric filter systems to exceed $7B in 2012

Power plants, steel mills and other polluters will spend $5 billion for fabric filter systems this year and will increase spending to $7 billion in 2012 after a dip in purchases next year. This is the most current forecast in the online, continually updated McIlvaine report, World Fabric Filter and Element Markets...

NORTHFIELD, IL, Oct. 28, 2008 -- Power plants, steel mills and other polluters will spend $5 billion for fabric filter systems this year and will increase spending to $7 billion in 2012 after a dip in purchases next year. This is the most current forecast in the online, continually updated McIlvaine report, World Fabric Filter and Element Markets.

McIlvaine forecasts systems, equipment and elements. The equipment is that part of the system furnished by the fabric filter original equipment manufacturer. This represents 50 percent of the total system investment. Revenues for these OEMs will rise to $3.5 billion in 2012.

Cement plants, incinerators, steel mills, asphalt pavers, and chemical producers have traditionally been the largest customers, but power plants are switching from the traditional precipitators to fabric filters as regulations to remove fine particles are made more stringent.

The power plant potential in the U.S. is the largest over the near term. Only 10 percent of the power plants utilize fabric filters. The potential system market for the other 90 percent is over $25 billion.

Another growing market is ethanol. Fabric filters are used to clean up the stack gases from boilers generating the steam and from dryers for the byproducts.

Fabric filters are also used in the capture of acid gases. Sodium or calcium particles react with these gases and form compounds captured in the downstream filter. Incinerators and glass plants are among the industries utilizing this technology.

China is the largest market for fabric filters for steel and cement, but is presently a small market for coal-fired power plants. This is because of the Chinese preference for electrostatic precipitators. However, increasing regulatory pressure and poor quality coals will boost this market as well.

Fabric filters are increasingly used in mining operations involving size reduction or roasting. Consequently, Africa and South America are growing markets.

One of the biggest applications in developing countries is foundry operations. Casting cleaning, sand handling, and iron melting all require dust capture.

Some of the largest suppliers of fabric filters are also manufacturers of coal-fired boilers. There are a number of international suppliers of the elements including GE and MFRI. It is a large market for roll goods, fibers and resins. DuPont, Toray, Ticona, and Evonik are among those active in this segment.

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