Water and Power Predicted to Drive World Pump Market to $36 Billion in 2010

Jan. 27, 2006

World pump revenues are going to reach $36 billion by 2010, predicts the McIlvaine Co. in “Pumps: World Markets.” Power and water will be two of the biggest drivers.

The urbanization of Asia is generating a huge need for drinkable water and the treatment and disposal of wastewater. Flood control and irrigation, which require huge specialized pumps, are also drivers. The 2005 catastrophes accelerated this market demand.

Pump requirements for coal-fired power plants are increasing at double-digit rates. The new plants under design and construction in China and the U.S. will require large numbers of pumps. These include high-pressure pumps for boiler feedwater as well as slurry pumps for the big scrubber systems.

The need to liquefy natural gas, transport LNG and then regasify the liquid in a distant country is creating a large market for several types of pumps. The fact that oil supply is peaking does not slow the demand for pumps associated with extraction. There are more wells being drilled, but the output of the new sources is low compared to the output of older wells, which are being depleted.

Rapid growth is being experienced in pump demand for unconventional fuels. Tar sand plant capacity in western Canada is slated to increase substantially over the next decade. Liquefaction of coal and conversion to synthetic gasoline or diesel fuel is now an economic option due to the high price of oil. China is investing more than $20 billion in both direct and indirect liquefaction facilities.

An existing liquefaction plant in South Africa utilizes more pumps than any other chemical or refining facility worldwide. Every dollar that is diverted from conventional fuels to unconventional fossil fuels increases the pump market.

The market for pumps in the pulp, paper and mining industries is growing much faster in the southern hemisphere than in the northern. South America is experiencing a boom in pulp mill construction.

Special high-pressure pumps are needed for desalination. The world’s supply of uncontaminated freshwater is shrinking, while the residential, commercial and industrial demand for freshwater is increasing. Desalination of seawater is going to have to increasingly fill the gap.

The industry continues to consolidate worldwide. The big companies are continuing to acquire smaller ones and make the market truly global.

The top 10 suppliers worldwide have nearly one third of the world market. The top three companies in the 2004 sales ranking include ITT with $1,861.2 million, Flowserve with $1,239 million and Groumdfos with $1,210 million, according to the McIlvaine Co.

Source: McIlvaine Co.