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The Marine Coatings Market

 August 16, 2014
The marine and offshore coatings market is showing steady signs of improvement.
The marine coatings market comprises not just antifouling coatings for ships, but also protective coatings for offshore structures such as oil rigs. There is great potential for growth in this diverse market.  For 2012, market research firm Frost and Sullivan reported the protective and marine coatings market generated revenue of $2.03 billion North American with a base growth grate of 2.1 percent, and $2.40 billion in Europe, with a base year growth rate of 1.2 percent. According to the study, despite the recent global economic downturn, favorable long-term industrial trends should help the North American market grow to $2.40 billion by 2017, with a market revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4 percent, and the European market is set to grow to $2.72 billion, with a CAGR of 2.6 percent.
Key issues impacting the market include environmental regulations and oversupply of vessels, resulting in reduced newbuilds.
“The marine coatings marketplace is a sizeable and diverse industry consisting primarily of large, ocean traveling commercial vessels,” said Tom Molenda, global director of marine coatings, PPG Industries.  “2013 was a mixed year for this segment.  Conditions were difficult due to an oversupply of vessels and not enough demand for cargo.  However, freight rates stabilized and even began to grow slightly. Demand for newly built vessels was on the rise providing an increase in this area for the first time in several years. While the marketplace will continue to be a challenging one in 2014, there are some signs that the bottom has been reached and forecasts indicate improvement in the coming years.” 
“The overall marine industry has been under a lot of pressure due to oversupply of vessels, which has resulted in falling freight rates,” said Dave Heflin, regional director marine coatings North and Central America, AkzoNobel. “Marine coatings demand has been affected by a reduction in the demand for new marine vessels. The market has also been impacted by reduced maintenance budgets for existing vessels resulting in lower freight costs.”
Heflin reported that the market did show some signs of improvement in 2013 as the market moved into a better supply-demand balance. “We expect that trend to continue,” he added. “There has been considerable growth in the oil and offshore industry, which use many of the same coatings. Key areas of growth have been with natural gas facilities and floating production and storage and offloading (FPSO) units.”
There are several factors contributing to growth in the marine coatings market. One major factor is the recent growth of the global fleet and the subsequent need for drydocking.
“The global marine fleet has been growing in terms of DWT (dead weight tonnage) during the last few years,” said Christian Ottosen, group marine marketing director, Hempel. “This is primarily due to the significant newbuilding inflow between 2009 and 2011, which is now coming into drydocking for the first time. The high activity in the newbuilding industry during 2009-2011 has led to overcapacity in several shipping segments and drop in demand for new vessels.”
“Despite signs of the newbuilding industry stabilizing towards the end of 2013 and in the first quarter of 2014, the newbuilding market is still very volatile, and industry focus remains clearly on decreasing the total cost of vessel operation and improving the fuel efficiency of existing and new vessels,” Ottosen added.
Despite these challenges, there are some bright spots in this marketplace.
“One thing contributing to growth is the expansion in the overall global shipping trade, which is having a positive effect on the coatings market,” said Heflin. “There is also growth in the offshore market, they use the same types of coatings as the marine coatings market. As well as growth coming from the overall expansion of the market, there is particularly strong growth for products with environmental advantages and proven performance.
“While there are many factors that drive the demand for marine coatings, one of the most significant contributions is overall world economic growth and world trade,” said Molenda. “Other factors include improving freight rates.”
Geographic speaking the vast majority of demand for marine coatings is in the Asia region, but there is sizable demand on a global basis as well.
“The biggest demand for marine coatings we see is where most shops and offshore structures are built, which is China and Korea,” said Heflin. “There is also demand where drydocking ship maintenance takes place, which includes China and Korea, but also in the Middle East, Northern Europe and North America.”
Ottosen estimates that ninety percent of new building takes in Asia. “China and Korea have the highest market share, followed by Japan,” said Ottosen. “Newbuilding also takes place in Europe, but for special vessel and cruise vessels. Marine maintenance follows the owner’s location.”
“Asia Pacific presents the most demand due to the sizeable number of shipyards that build and repair vessels,” added Molenda. “The European region boasts a large owner base which also results in a considerable demand.”
Environmental Regulations/Raw Material Issues
There is no doubt that environmental regulations are a key  driver for the marine coatings industry. Coatings formulators need to reduce solvent content to comply with increasingly strict environmental regulations. While North America and Europe already have well established legislation, emerging regions are beginning to adopt their own regulations.
“This is particularly true when it comes to the restriction in use of certain biocides and the push toward low or no VOC products,” said Heflin. “Countries like China and Korea are starting to adopt regulations that are similar to those in Europe and the U.S. The trend and movement towards regulation is there. As a global supplier we are aware of the demands these regulations will place on our products – the need for non-biocidal and low VOC products. We formulate our products with these regulations in mind. But these changes also represent a significant opportunity for a company like AkzoNobel. We are a leader in biocidal products that are compliant with environmental regulations and we are prepared for the future. We are staying ahead of the curve by developing nonbiocidal products that are ahead of the legislative curve.”
PPG works closely with its suppliers on a continuous basis to help manage not only changes in raw material prices, but also with respect to innovations that can formulate into its proprietary coatings.   “We are confident that we are well positioned to manage and adapt to situations of change in many facets of our business,” said Molenda.  “Our goal is always to minimize the impact to our customers to the best of our abilities, but in certain instances pricing increases become unavoidable.”
“In Hempel we’re constantly following the environmental regulations; we adjust our products to meet both present and future market demands, combining environmental and performance aspects,” said Ottosen. “In marine, most environmental regulations will eventually become global, even though they were initiated locally.”
Hempel adjusts its products to meet the market demands and prices in terms of raw material prices and fluctuations. “Furthermore, efforts are put into optimizing and reducing our assortment, moving towards a truly global assortment,” said Ottosen. “We source our raw materials mainly from global suppliers to ensure consistency in our products and in our product ranges.”
There are numerous trends in technology within the marine coatings industry.  “One of the most noteworthy areas making great strides in innovation is in fouling protection products,” said Molenda. “The long-term trends are towards more environmentally friendly fouling protection products that provide superior performance for today’s coatings.
The focus in recent years for marine coatings is on efficiency – both in terms of fuel efficiency as well as product performance efficiency in order to reduce maintenance costs.
“For hull coatings, the focus is on developing products that are highly fuel-efficient during drydocking periods,” said Ottosen. “Major technologies head towards the use of silicone. For example, Hempel’s HEMPAGUARD, which combines silicone with low content of biocides.
When it comes to fuel efficiency the focus is on developing initiatives to deal with low steaming, variations in speed, trading patterns and idle periods – which all are crucial to meet the demands of the changing marine industry.For other areas, vessel efficiency is important in relation to cost efficiency during drydocking periods. For example, we have developed a series of products for water ballast tanks that reduce the risk of cracking, thus reducing the maintenance cost during the vessel’s lifetime.”
“There are also other areas such as cargo holds, where cost efficiency can also be achieved,” Ottosen added. “We have a series of products that can perform for up to 10 years, hence significantly reducing the likelihood of major repairs.”
According to Heflin, while they key trends are for products with efficiency benefits, such as hull coatings that lower fuel consumption and low and no VOC systems, the trend is also for proven performance benefits, such as cargo coatings with improved impact resistance or those that are compatible with a wider range of cargoes. “The owners want flexibility with a range of cargo,” he explained. An example would be our Intersleek range, It provides fuel savings of nine percent. Owners switching from biocidal antifoulings to our Intersleek range can receive carbon credits. It is a step forward in the industry.”

- See more at: http://www.coatingsworld.com/issues/0814/view_features/the-marine-coatings-market/#sthash.5z8m1Y6j.dpuf

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