The global antifouling agent market surpassed 84 kilo tons in 2015. It is expected to exceed 131 kilo tons by 2024. The industry is likely to grow at a CAGR of about 4.5% from 2016 to 2024 (forecast period). It derives much of its demand from the shipping industry.
Expansion of drilling rigs and increasing offshore natural gas production are key factors that drive this market. Moreover, rise in cargo ships, commercial vessels, Floating Production Storage & Offloading (FPSO), passenger ships, yachts, and other conventional offshore drilling rigs could catapult industrial growth.
Antifouling agents are specialized coatings & paints applied to the hull of the ship. These products provide the vessel with superior polished effect and smoothness.
The submerged surfaces of boats and rigs attract algae, bacteria, fish, shellfish, barnacles, and diatoms which increase hydrodynamic drag. These organisms further hamper the speeds and ranges of shipping vessels. This in turn adds to fuel consumption.
Fouling damages the body of the ship and decreases maneuverability which further leads to safety hazards. Therefore, coating shipping vessels with antifouling agents enhances not only the strength but also the overall performance of the vessels. These agents improve vessel performance by inhibiting the growth of sub-aquatic organisms on the underwater surfaces of the same.
These paints & coatings (agents) are composed of biocides, copper, and organotin compounds. These protect the vessels from external contaminations, fouling, and corrosion. Hence, the demand for antifouling agents will fuel growth in the forthcoming years. Furthermore, this industry is propelled by the robust growth of the oil & gas sector.
Industries are witnessing a shift from chemical based agents to eco-friendly alternatives. This owes to the stringent environmental regulations laid down by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Commission. Such regulatory controls hinder industrial progress. In addition to this, the prices of volatile raw materials are expected to negatively impact the general price trend.
Commercial ships are generally coated with synthetic chemical compound paints. These chemical paints have adverse environmental effects. Rising ecological concerns are fuelling the need for biologically derived eco-friendly antifouling options. These may provide biomimetic and natural antifouling coatings. Biomimetics are expected to spur newer innovations in non-toxic options.
Moreover, continuous research & development (R&D) of natural materials, like palm oil could contribute significantly to market growth. The antifouling agent market is led by innovation and new product development. For example, in 2011, the Biomimetics Innovation Center (BIC) developed a non-toxic product from palm seed. This is expected to boost overall demand for antifouling agents.
The antifouling agents industry is fragmented into applications, types, and regions. On the basis of applications, it is bifurcated into shipping vessels and drilling rigs & production platforms. The shipping vessels segment held nearly 80% of the global volume in 2014. Drilling rigs & production platforms is projected to expand considerably owing to high investments by oil & gas industries in FPSO vessels. Extensive explorations and production of natural gas & crude oil in countries like China, India, and Thailand will add to regional growth. Paints and coatings are also used in fixed and floating offshore oil rigs. Natural gas industries and companies dealing in marine infrastructure are undertaking extensive maintenance initiatives to increase the longevity of their assets. This will further influence industry demand positively.
Types include self-polishing, copper-based, hybrid, and other. Copper-based was the largest segment in 2015. It is also the fastest growing because of its eco-friendly nature. It ensures fouling-free surface that ultimately contributes to fuel conservation and reduces the emission of greenhouse gases.
Regions are categorized into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa (MEA). Asia Pacific accounted for more than 80% of the total shares in 2015. Growth of the shipbuilding industry in regions like China, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan will drive this region. The availability of cheap labor and raw materials is a prominent factor that contributes to the success of the Asia Pacific market.
Australia and India can emerge as the main manufacturing centers for shipping vessels because of strong governmental support. This will play an integral role in propelling the regional markets. In September 2013, the Government of India proposed the Draft National Chemical Policy. The draft increased the country’s domestic output of the chemical industry from 3% in 2014 to 6% by 2020. Favorable policy coupled with an encouraging outlook towards the shipping sector could create lucrative opportunities by 2024.
In 2015, North America accounted for almost 3% of the global demand. This region is expected to witness considerable growth during the forecast period. Rise in the production of unconventional energy sources, like shale gas and tight oil in the region will exhibit a positive effect.
In terms of volume, Europe witnessed a market demand exceeding 5 kilo tons in 2015. Countries like Italy and the United Kingdom witness high penetration of yacht manufacturers. This will be a prominent factor fuelling the Europe market.
MEA’s market size was valued at over USD 20 million in 2015. This market can expand further due to surging investments on offshore vessels development in countries, such as Angola, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria.
The worldwide antifouling agent market is moderately competitive with a few key competitors. Hempel, Advanced Marine Coating, AkzoNobel, PPG Industries, and Jotun are the main players in antifouling agent market. Companies participate in partnerships, launch of new technology or product, acquisitions, expansions, and research & developments for further business expansion.
Players focus greatly on developing eco-friendly paints due to stringent environmental regulations and growing awareness. In 2015, Jotun started a new facility for manufacturing marine coatings in Brazil. The company invested around USD 24.5 million in the manufacturing unit that is poised to produce 10 million liters of marine coatings.
Hempel launched two products under the brand name of DYNAMIC and GLOBIC for dry docking and new shipyard building. This could promote fuel savings of up to 3%. New product development would be the cornerstone of market expansion for the global antifouling agent industry during th
Research Support Specialist, USA