With the global population set to grow by almost a billion in the next 11 years, as per the United Nations, industries and cities are expanding faster than ever. Developing countries, where this population surge is expected to be the most rapid, are increasingly investing in building residential and commercial infrastructure. Now, amidst the gigantic cranes and other machines used in construction, the role of several smaller components almost goes unnoticed to an outsider. But any construction expert would always give the credit, which is due, to control valves. These are rather simple devices which regulate the flow of fluids in pipes. Be it in the various piping systems for water or sewage or those that carry concrete during construction, control valves are found in numerous applications in the infrastructure sector.
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P&S Intelligence, in a recent study, calculated the 2017 size of the control valves market as $11,137.0 million. The firm also predicted that in the coming years, manufacturers of such devices will make a combined $16,057.5 million. Among the major applications of such devices, apart from construction, are oil & gas, power generation, chemicals, automotive, food & beverages, wastewater management, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and marine. Among these, the largest demand for these devices has been for power generation, which is a direct result of the growing population, cities, and industries. The demand for electricity across the world grew by 4.0% in 2018 to reach 23,000 TWh, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This creates the need for more power plants, where control valves are deployed in heavy numbers.
Apart from electricity, the demand for oil and gas has also risen, by 1.3% in 2018 across the world, as per the IEA. The U.S. and China have been the global leaders considering the increase in the requirement for oil and gas. This demand is planned to be met by finding new sources of these commodities, and developing new oil and gas fields. For instance, Emerson Electric Co. invested $70.0 million during 2009–2014 in Nanjing, China for research and development in the field. With new oil and gas reserves being discovered in Asia-Pacific (APAC), the demand for control valves will surge further.
Another industry which is growing as a direct result of the increasing population is food and beverages. Along with population surge, the rising per capita income in many countries has also helped the food and beverages sector expand by raising the sales of processed and packaged food stuff. With this, new manufacturing plants are being set up and the existing expanded, which is leading to an increasing requirement for control valves that are used in several stages of manufacturing. Here, several liquids need to be mixed in huge cauldrons, for which large-diameter pipes with heavy-duty valves are required. Then, there are those valves that regulate the flow of steam and water for cooking purposes.
The APAC region has been the largest control valves market and will continue being so in future. Apart from the prosperity of end-use industry, even control valve manufacturers are shifting their manufacturing facilities in the region. New oil reserves have been recently discovered in Thailand and China, whereas the energy demand is growing rapidly in India. Further, new food processing facilities are being set up in China and India to meet the rising requirement for food and beverages here. Same is the case with these countries’ infrastructure, which is garnering heavy investments from private as well as public firms.