Energy efficiency is driving Australia’s chemical manufacturers to increase automation

The need for energy efficiency in the numerous critical and energy-consuming operations of the chemical and petrochemical manufacturers is lending impetus to the automation and software solutions market in Southeast Asia (SEA), Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

Environmental regulations that require plants to reduce their carbon footprint also result in upgrades to control systems. Coupled with the growing focus on safety, this is boosting the SEA and ANZ automation and software solutions market in chemical and petrochemical plants.

Analysis of the SE Asia and ANZ Automation & Software Solutions Market for the Chemical & Petrochemical Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of US$195.0 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach US$270.4 million in 2019.

“With most chemical and petrochemical plants running continuously throughout the year with no allowance for downtime, there is a need for highly redundant systems,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Vineeth Purushotham.

“As a result, automation solutions such as distributed control systems are becoming popular owing to their redundancy and higher availability.”

The growing trend of shifting chemical and petrochemical plants to lower-cost, higher-output countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia also provides significant opportunities for automation manufacturers in SEA.

However, plants in ANZ are also moving their operations to othe lower-cost countries such as India and China, which could curb market potential.

In addition, the lack of skilled labour for the installation and maintenance of automation systems in the chemical and petrochemical industry deters end users from shifting away from traditional legacy systems. Multinational automation vendors are looking to address this challenge by leveraging their talent pool from across the globe.

“Adopting the Main Automation Contractor (MAC) approach will ensure the training of personnel working on automation,” noted Purushotham. “End users also prefer the MAC model as this single point of contact is the most convenient way to meet all their automation needs,” he added.

Automation manufacturers in SEA and ANZ will also be scouting for mergers and acquisitions in a bid to provide integrated solutions and appeal to a larger consumer base.

[This analysis has been provided by Frost & Sullivan.]