Although the North American gas power plant service sector has been hobbled by slow growth in the recent past, the market is now poised to see strong growth, fueled by technological developments, the aging of the existing generation fleet, and the expected increment in the installed capacity. As fossil fuels will continue to account for a major portion of the total energy matrix, the gas and steam turbine driven power plant services markets will maintain its upward growth trajectory.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (energy.frost.com), North American Gas Power Plant Service Market, finds that market earned revenues of over $3.1 billion in 2008 and estimates this to reach $6.7 billion in 2015.
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"Recently considered a secondary activity for turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the servicing of North American power plants is emerging as a burgeoning opportunity for manufacturers and independent service providers in the region," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Luciano Caratori. "Issues such as escalating fuel prices, anticipated growth in energy demand, and the increment in capital costs for new constructions will impact the market in the future."
However, scarcity of skilled personnel will inhibit the service providers' capability of servicing larger fleets. This phenomenon is expected to cloud the prospects of the entire industry in the next few years. Independent service providers are initiating strategies to overcome this impediment, providing strong in-company training.
A comprehensive service portfolio, which integrates environmental services and other additional capabilities, will help gain market traction. Plant owners are displaying a preference for solutions that enhance efficiency and operations at a reasonable cost, as well as promote emission reduction. Offering non-conventional services that go beyond the standard maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and operations and maintenance (O&M) packages will enable companies to steal a march over competition.
Prominent independent service providers have grown their market share over the years, but OEMs still account for 60 percent of the gas power plant services market. Despite the fact that independent service providers (ISPs) have developed superior diagnostic and repair methods, OEMs have gained a firm foothold in the market due to long-term service agreements (LTSAs) and advanced turbine technologies. Servicing of additional installed capacity needs to be considered only after the expiration of a LTSA contract.
"While local service houses tend to focus their strategy in lower prices and adaptability, OEMs maintain their leadership by staying at the forefront of technological developments," observes Caratori. "Parts availability enables OEMs to service larger fleets with regard to modern units, while ISPs are currently focusing on broadening their service lines to provide them with additional growth opportunities."
The utilities segment holds the greatest potential for outsourcing in the North American gas power plant services market, despite the current slow pace of development. Companies must align with market nuances, providing solutions that cater to the needs of this segment. As far as the industrial sector is concerned, on-site power generation will furnish opportunities for service providers to penetrate this attractive market.
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