Overview of industrial gases and their scope
Industrial gases refer to a collection of gases that are specifically manufactured to be used in an expansive range of industries and functions. These include chemicals, oil and gas, petrochemicals, medicine, pharmaceuticals, mining, steelmaking, food and beverages, biotechnology, fertilizers, nuclear power, aerospace, electronics, and environmental protection. The industrial gases market refers to industries producing primary gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, argon, acetylene, and helium. In addition, the industry also comprises of equipment supplied and the machinery used to produce and use these gases such as gas cylinders, canisters, compressors and tube trailers.
With escalating population and rapid urbanization in the BRICS countries, there has been a remarkable growth in the global market for industrial gases. Use of industrial gases in the production of renewable energy, petrochemicals and agrochemicals ensure environmentally-friendly processes. More and more people are becoming aware regarding energy conservation and the need for renewable and sustainable sources of energy. Furthermore, the governing bodies have begun implementing more rigid norms as far as nonrenewable energy sources are concerned and are encouraging energy-efficient companies with attractive incentives. This has further helped the expansion and scope of industrial gases market across the globe.
Industrial gases are used in nearly every industry and this has significantly impacted the growth of associated sectors such as chemical manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, metal fabrication, and food and beverages. In a number of developing countries, the demand for mixed gases in healthcare and electronics has risen sharply.
The industrial gases market can be segmented based on product and based on geographical regions.
On the basis of product, the market is divided into:
- Carbon dioxide
On the basis of geographical regions, the industrial gases market is divided into:
- North America
- Rest of the World
Based on industry analysis, the industrial gases market in the Asia-Pacific region has been most promising and as far as market value is concerned, will continue to be the fastest growing segment during 2012-2018 expanding at a CAGR of more than 7%. This is mainly because of the massive population base in the region and increasing demand for industrial gases from emerging economies such as China, India, Singapore and South Korea. Moreover, the process of industrialization in these countries has been fast-paced and the scope of untapped opportunities is relatively high. Another important factor that has aided growth in this sector is the fact that countries in south and central Asia have been encouraging the use of industrial gases owing to their environmentally-friendly characteristics. The governments have introduced various incentives and subsidies to the industrial gases segment which ensures definite development of the industry.
If products are to be taken into consideration, the sectors where the demand for industrial gases is most are healthcare, electronics and manufacturing units. This has also upped the demand for exotic gaseous mixtures, pure gases and new applications of traditional gases.
Global outlook of the industrial gases market
Based on market research reports, the industrial gases market that was valued at USD 38 billion in 2011 will expand to USD 58.4 billion by 2018 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. Hydrogen not just dominated the market in 2011 but is also predicted to be the fastest growing segment of the global industrial gases market over the next five years at a global CAGR of 6%. The demand for nitrogen across the globe is estimated to reach USD 6.2 billion by 2018 and that of oxygen will be USD 6 billion in the forecasted period.
Some of the global industrial gases market players are Air Liquide, Cryotec Anlagenbau Gmbh, Linde Group, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Praxair Inc., MATHESON Tri-Gas Inc., and Airgas Inc. Of these, Air Liquide held the maximum share in the market in 2011 at more than 24%. Linde Gas followed closely behind.