The boiler island in a power plant constitutes the highest capital expenditure asset and the fuel is generally the single highest operational expenditure of the plant. Often, not enough attention is given to continuously improve the energy transformation efficiency; from raw fuel to the refined end-products heat and power. The potential for sustainable and profitable growth is directly connected to how well the plant handles increasing demands, from both consumers and legislators (BREF), on reduced emissions.
Using coal as fuel in order to create energy in the form of electricity and/or heat is very common in the world. The coal comes in many different qualities, and often generate problems with ash fouling. The stricter limits for emissions, also create new challenges for the boilers, such as difficulties with build ups in heat exchangers, SCR and APH.