Valves & actuators

Increasingly complex applications and the emergence of ‘smart’ valves are particularly driving growth in the industry. The oil and gas sector accounts for approximately a third of the global valves market, with water/wastewater, chemicals and power industries being other key markets. Global demand for industrial valves is forecast to rise 5.1 % per year1 to $82.5bn (€70.3bn). Although growth will be healthy across the globe, spurred by recovery from the recent economic downturn, the drivers of growth will vary by region.

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Emerging nations

Advances in developing countries such as China (which has become the largest producer of industrial valves) and India, will result from ongoing industrial­isation as investment in water infrastruc­ture and electricity generation grows.

Growing demand for industrial valves in the power, and oil and gas processing sectors has been driving sales in India2 as the Indian government invests heavily in the country’s oil and gas pipeline infrastructure.

Research and Markets3 says the global industrial valves market in the oil and gas industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.3% from 2014-2019. It says the industry is increasingly automating production processes to reduce downtime and boost operational efficiency. A key trend is the replacement of manually operated valves with fully automated isolation and control valves which are interconnected to monitoring and operating systems.

Large corporate players have a strong appetite for acquisitions in key emerging geographies within the oil and gas industry. A good recent example was the acquisition by Weir Group plc of the UK of KOP Surface Products Pte Ltd in Singapore from Akastor ASA of Norway.

KOP is a designer and manufacturer of advanced surface pressure control technologies, systems and services for the oil and gas industry. The company specialises in actuators, surface trees, valves and wellheads, and has operations in Singapore and Indonesia, as well as sales and services offices across the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East. The sale for Akastor is part of the Norwegian group’s ongoing rationalisation programme.

Water

There is huge global demand for valves in the water industry. In developing nations access to water supply and sanitation is rising, while in developed nations aging water infrastructure needs repairing and upgrading to meet clean water regulations.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US alone needs $384bn (€320bn) of investment in drinking water infrastructure through to 2030, of which approximately $250bn (€210bn) will be geared towards replacement or refurbishment of aging water distribution and transmission lines.

In the chemical industry long-term drivers include production moving closer to feedstock, especially in developing regions, while in the power market the increasing drive towards urbanisation and increasing environmental regulations are key drivers.

Automation

Demand for automatic valves will outpace demand for conventional valves due to ongoing efforts by process manufacturers to improve operational efficiencies, say Freedonia. The strongest gains will be registered in separately sold automatic actuators, which are used with standard valves to allow for automated valve functions and which are less expensive than automatic control and regulator valves with actuators pre-installed. Process manufacturing will also post strong gains in valve demand, driven by growing output, especially in the chemi­cal industry.

1: World Industrial Valves – Freedonia Group
2: TechSci Research – India Industrial Valves Market Forecast and Opportunities 2020
3: Research and Markets Global Industrial Valves Market in Oil and Gas Industry 2015-19

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