Substantial growth in energy demand and policy changes to decrease gas flaring are driving new power plants installation in Africa and fuelling the uptake of gas turbines. While lack of infrastructure and financial constraints slowed down market growth in the past, the current expansion rate of over 8% a year is expected to accelerate once the gas infrastructure backbone in key gas producing countries is developed.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan on the gas turbine market finds that the market earned revenues of US$662 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach US$1,144 million in 2017. The growth in demand for turbine technology will be driven by the combination of infrastructure investment and access to natural resources – Africa has some of the globe’s most substantial gas reserves.

“The desire of more players in the private sector, especially industrial clients to achieve energy independence, is widening the scope of the African gas turbine market,” Frost & Sullivan business unit leader for energy and environment Cornelis van der Waal says. “This will allow new suppliers to enter the market and existing competitors to have access to a larger pool of customers.”

Although the long term outlook for gas turbine technology remains very positive, there are some challenges facing the industry including a lack of urgency among end users to expand their gas infrastructure, limited gas pipeline availability, and poorly maintained transmission infrastructure.

“In this scenario, it is crucial for gas turbine suppliers to understand end-user needs and develop cost-efficient, flexible solutions that can also run on oil or kerosene in the absence of gas. Market leaders, in particular, should couple quality products with robust operation and maintenance services to consolidate their position and take advantage of the numerous opportunities that are expected to open up in Africa over the next 10 years.”