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The global marine coatings industry is poised to sail forward on the growing demand for reduced fuel consumption in cargo and cruise ships. Increasingly stringent environmental regulations are boosting the prospects of high-value, eco-friendly coatings. Innovation has been the only constant, with all companies striving to offer eco-friendly products.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, ‘Strategic Analysis of the Global Market for Marine Coatings’, finds that the market earned revenues of US$5030.1M in 2011 and estimates this to reach US$10,216.3M in 2018. The research covers anti-corrosive, anti-fouling and foul-release coatings.
"The need to lower fuel consumption is a strong market driver and antifouling coatings applied to ships’ hulls offer one way to combat emissions and reduce fuel consumption,” explained Frost & Sullivan Research Director Dr Leonidas Dokos. "Foul-release technology, which also results in substantial fuel savings, is particularly useful for large cargo ships, which consume a lot of fuel.”
Marine coatings manufacturers are generally conservative in adopting new practices. However, increasingly stringent environmental legislation, paralleled by customer preference for more eco-friendly products, is pushing innovation in the market. "Companies are investing in developing eco-friendly products such as metal-free, anti-fouling coatings,” noted Dokos. "Most major participants now offer silicone- or fluororesin-based foul-release products.”
However, it is not expected to be all smooth sailing. Participants will have to contend with two major challenges; until the beginning of 2014, new shipbuilding activities are expected to fall. This will lead to declining volume demands in the near-term. Second, consolidation of the shipping management companies will increase their buying power, while placing additional pressure on marine coatings prices.