London -- The global marine coatings industry is poised to sail forward on the growing demand for reduced fuel consumption in cargo and cruise ships, says market research group Frost & Sullivan.
Increasingly stringent environmental regulations are boosting the prospects of high-value, eco-friendly coatings, F&S adds.
Innovation has been the only constant, with all companies striving to offer eco-friendly products, the company says.
New analysis from F&S -- Strategic Analysis of the Global Market for Marine Coatings -- finds that the market earned revenues of $530.1 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $10 216.3 million 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," said Frost & Sullivan research director Dr Leonidas Dokos, in a company statement.
"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."
While these are positive winds for the market, it is not expected to be all smooth sailing. Participants will have to contend with two major challenges; projected declines in shipbuilding production and the consolidation of shipping management companies, said F&S.
Until the beginning of 2014, new ship building activities are expected to fall. This will lead to declining volume demands in the near-term. Consolidation of the shipping management companies will increase their buying power, while placing additional pressure on marine coatings prices.