The worldwide market for medium voltage generators was worth an estimated $2.7 billion in 2010, with more than 7,100 units shipped during the year. All of the industry sectors critical to the market experienced severe declines during 2009, and as portions of the market entered a phase of recovery in 2010, a distinct group of outperforming industry sectors emerged. As a result, sales into oil & natural gas, mining, and sugar industries are expected to drive growth in the medium voltage generators market through 2015. These are some of the latest findings from the 2012 Medium Voltage Generators study published by IMS Research.
Global crude oil prices averaged around $80 per barrel in the first quarter of 2010, peaking at over $110 per barrel in April 2011 as the global economy saw a faster than expected bounce back in demand. Prices stabilized around $100 per barrel by the end of 2011 and have remained at these levels in early 2012. With the price of oil high, expansion of drilling and exploration activities into riskier off-shore and non-conventional sites should continue, benefiting the medium voltage generators market. One supplier of medium voltage generators estimated that each offshore drilling platform uses approximately 4 medium voltage generators to run motors, pumps and to supply electricity to the facility.
The mining industry has an inherent need for mobile power generation since most sites are remote and do not have access to a local power grid. In addition, mined commodities such as aluminum, copper, coal, gold, iron-ore and rare earth minerals are currently in high demand, particularly from the emerging economies in China and India. Furthermore, the prices of these commodities are at or near their historic peaks, leading many mining companies to invest a significant portion of their profits into capital improvement projects. As the mining industry expands production and sees sizeable capital investment, sales of medium voltage generators into the sector are expected to grow as a result.
The sugar plants segment of the medium voltage generators market is also expected to benefit from a steadily growing demand for refined sugar. As growing populations become more urbanized and more people turn to the convenience of processed foods, in which sugar is a widely used ingredient, more and more production facilities will be needed. In addition, many sugar plants also produce ethanol to be used as an alternative fuel and common gasoline additive. According to IMS Research analyst Greg Johnson, "The use of sugar to make ethanol is a factor that should be considered when analyzing the growth potential of the sugar plants sector of the medium voltage generators market. Many countries are enacting legislation to increase the blend of ethanol in gasoline, which will drive demand higher. Both of these factors are projected to boost medium voltage generator sales into the sugar industry."
IMS Research predicts that the oil & natural gas, mining and sugar industry sectors of the medium voltage generators market will grow by more than 9% per year in revenue terms from 2010 to 2015. In 2015 these sectors will comprise nearly 38% of total market revenues.