It can further help to reduce the design time and costs. Further, a unified system allows a transition from hard-wired to a networked approach with a reduction in material, labor, and documentation costs. It also supports end-user by one system for control, visualization, archiving, and reporting, which allow them to access real-time data from intelligent electrical devices to help operations and maintenance personnel make smarter faster decisions.
– Adoption in the replacement of SF6 to lower environmental impact is driving the market. For decades, the unique properties of SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride) have made it popular as insulation and switching medium for electrical switchgear in e-house. However, SF6 is greenhouse gas, and its life-cycle management costs are incurred, particularly when the decommissioning of aging substations is on the rise.
In recent years, ABB has been conducting research for alternatives with lower environmental impact with arc interruption and insulation properties similar to SF6. This mission has now been executed, and the worldâ€™s first gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) pilot installation to use a new gas mixture has recently been commissioned in Switzerland.
– Further global manufacturers of medium-voltage switchgear are now seeing increased exposure to product stewardship requirements as a part of new equipment purchase contracts. Product stewardship is loosely defined as an elemenSF6t of Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS), which includes a product-centered approach to environmental protection focusing on reducing the environmental impacts of products. These all factors support the drawback of SF6, and introducing new alternatives further helps to grow the demand of e-house in the market.
– The digitalization of e-house is driving the market. The digital revolution is in progress and has already taken great steps in the energy segment, and itâ€™s bringing immense opportunities and benefits. The impact of digitalization on electrical distribution is intended to improve operations and increase flexibility throughout the power value chain, from generation to customer relationship management. Already today, installing digital switchgear contributes greatly to increasing operation efficiency by optimizing switchgear footprint in the substation room and by using the energy efficiently for switchgear operation.
– For instance, in medium-voltage switchgear at 11 kV consisting of 30 panels, the width can be reduced by approx. 7% and switchgear energy consumption can be reduced by approx 300MWh during its lifetime. Today governments and regulatory bodies encourage smarter measuring systems and greener standards for generation and consumption and to use resources in a more efficient way. These initiatives create a demand for smarter distribution equipment such as digital switchgear, which assists in the growth of the market. ABB AbilityTM platform not only gives the possibility to link separate e-houses worldwide but also to gather data and conduct detailed, performance-enhancing analytics.
– However, the impact of COVD-19 affected e-house market growth. The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered oil demand, sunk prices, and is posing a significant risk for those involved in oil extraction and processing. The disruption to Chinese oil has affected around the world. In February, the IEA noted demand had fallen by 435,000 barrels per day (BPD) in the first quarter of this year alone, which is the first quarterly contraction in demand in more than a decade. With the industry shut down and no new industry expansion and development, the demand for e-house has shattered significantly.
– However, OPEC+ agreed to curtail oil production by approximately 10.0% (9.7 million barrel/day) by May 1. Further, the tight working conditions of mining facilities means workers are at the greatest immediate risk, and mining operations around the world have been placed into shutdown. For instance, South Africaâ€™s platinum mines have been idled for the past three weeks since the last week of March 2019. Such instances highly affect the demand for mobile substation e-house. However, the Government of South Africa has agreed to allow the mining sector to operate at up to 50% of its production capacity during the nationwide lockdown, which can significantly cater to the demand.
Key Market Trends
Upstream Sector in Oil and Gas to Witness Significant Share
– The exploitation of shale reserve has led to an increase in demand for energy and power services. According to IEA, the global gas demand is expected to grow by 1.6% a year for the next five years, with consumption reaching almost 4,000 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2022, up from 3,630 bcm in 2016. China will account for 40% of this growth. Hence, the upstream segment is expected to be one of the largest segment for the e-house market.
– Traditionally, players in the oil and gas industry obtain their switchgear, drives, and automation systems from multiple electrical equipment suppliers and obtain their electrical houses through fabricators. But the demand to reduce risk, costs, and delivery time has steered the industry away from this practice, and the part of CAPEX in the upstream sector is contributed to the e-house.
– There is a clear trend towards consigning an integrated, installed, and pre-commissioned electrical and automation system together with the complete electrical house through various players. For instance, in June 2019, a multi-level E-house designed, engineered, and manufactured by Shaw Controls has been supplied as a fit-for-purpose solution at a South African port.
– The solution comprises five modules: three at ground level, with two above. The substantial structure, including all electrical substation equipment, weighs approximately 90 tonnes. Further, an additional E-house comprising one module for a separate LV substation has also been supplied.
– Further players such as Enexis announced to deploy eleven e-house substations in the northern Netherlands, where grid capacity for large scale clean energy projects, including oil and gas projects, is limited. The company said it would invest EUR 43 million in the plan to speed up the energy transition.
– Further new construction projects for oil and gas are investing in the e-house deployment, which adds to the growth of the market. For instance, Petrobras announced they are developing a new natural gas processing plant in the site of its Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex (Comperj) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The plant, known as UPGN, is a part of the Rota 3 or Route 3 pipeline project and will be the largest of its type in the country.
– It is estimated to cost around USD 600 million, where the plant will also be equipped with two processing trains. It will feature a customized e-house electrical solution, which will be the largest in Latin America. The e-house will be a modular outdoor enclosure covering an area of 800mÂ². It will house electrical equipment, including transformers, switchboards, voltage panels, and bus ducts. The solution will connect all the electrical equipment involved in providing power, protection, and distribution, and reduce the risk of outages.
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North America Accounts to Hold Significant Market Share
– North America is accounted for to hold a significant market share. With increasing industrial units in oil and gas, mining, etc., and further with the residing of global players such as ABB Ltd, Siemens AG, etc., the market tends to grow significantly.
– Canada is one of the largest producers of oil and gas in the world. Their oil and gas industry plays an important role in the countryâ€™s economy. Oil sands remain its primary source of hydrocarbon production, comprising over 90% of the country’s total oil reserves. As per the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the oil production in the country is expected to reach 5.4 billion bbl/d in 2030, and oil sands are expected to account for 70.7% of the total production. This caters to the demand of e-house during the forecasted period.
– Further, according to the US Geological Survey, the capacity utilization of the United States mining industry is gradually increasing since 2016. In 2019, capacity utilization increased to 91%. ABB provides pre-fabricated containerized e-houses for mining applications. The e-house can also be installed close to the main loads, which reduces the power and control cable size and length. Its ABB’s MineOptimize e-house solution can lead to cost savings upto 40%.
– Further, utilities provide the public with essential commodities or services such as power, water, and natural gas. The number of electric utility companies operates in the United States country is estimated at over 3,300, with around 200 of them providing power to the majority of users. Further applications in an internal and external lighting system, fire suppression system, Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) drives the growth of e-house in the United States.
– Furthermore, Huge shale gas development across North America and offshore deepwater exploration and production activities were the hallmarks of the oil & gas industry in the past decade owing to advancements in technologies. However, the crude oil price plunge has impacted this industry in the past few years, and its trading way below its all-time high. FPSO/FSO and wellhead platform for offshore production and refining complexes require an integrated electrical solution, which led the oil & gas industry for the demand of an e-house solution.
The e-house market is fragmented in nature due to a greater number of companies offering an e-house solution. Further, with the current presence of numerous international and regional players, they are offering innovative solutions to save the energy in industrial units with other functionality that results in a highly competitive market environment. Key players are ABB Ltd, Siemens AG. Recent developments in the market are –
– February 2020 – GE Power successfully delivered an e-house and VSDS to the petrochemical plant controlled by Shell Nederland Chemie B.V. GEâ€™s VSDS encompasses high-speed induction motor and variable speed drive, steadily reaching over approximately 90% energy efficiency for the compressor train.
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