An increase in oil exploration activities, investments in new refineries, and modernization of existing facilities will spur uptake of valves and actuators, particularly in emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America, according to a study from Frost & Sullivan.

In Latin America, demand from the offshore oil and gas industry is expected to fuel the valves and actuators market. In addition to demand from emerging economies, control valve manufacturers will find growth opportunities in North America and Europe due to end-user preference for greater process automation.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s Strategic Analysis of the Global Industrial Valves and Actuators Market, the market earned revenues of $19.51 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $25.95 billion in 2018. The study covers the oil and gas, power generation, chemical processing, mining and metallurgy, and water and wastewater end-user industries.

“The water and wastewater industry will offer significant growth potential for valve and actuator manufacturers in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Niranjan Paul. “Due to the burgeoning population and rapid urbanization in these regions, water scarcity and the need to provide purified and portable water for human consumption have led to the setting up of desalination plants, boosting the use of valves and actuators.”

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Despite this demand, valve and actuator manufacturers are likely to witness a loss of potential revenues due to politics in countries such as Iran, Sudan and Syria. In addition, the global financial downturn has compelled end-users to defer projects and focus on the maintenance of existing equipment rather than the purchase of new valves and actuators.

Frost & Sullivan says the adoption of aggressive pricing strategies in Asia-Pacific too will reduce the sale of new valves. Vendors must enhance their aftermarket capability to sustain profits and meet wide-ranging consumer requirements.

“Valve and actuator manufacturers need to invest in R&D to deliver a comprehensive solution complete with wireless monitoring and advanced valve-condition monitoring capabilities,” Paul said. “With subsea exploration in Europe and Latin America projected to rise, widening product portfolios to include double-expanding gate valves will help vendors appeal to a larger consumer base in this high-potential market.”