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Technology Sectors

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Electric utilities and oil refineries will increase investment in perimeter security, says IHS

Although most critical infrastructure sites are target applications for electronic perimeter security, electrical utilities and oil refineries are projected to have the most growth opportunity, according to a published note by Blake Kozak, senior analyst for access control, fire and security at IHS Inc. 

The global market size for electronic perimeter security sensors and video in electrical utilities and oil refineries is forecast to top $160 million in 2014, says Kozak. 

Electrical utilities have experienced strong growth despite the economic slowdown in 2011 and 2012. Part of this growth is resulting from the trend to use remote video and networked sensors in order to configure and maintain sensors from remote locations. For example, there has been demand to integrate video with detection sensors and network these back to a central monitoring station. This has helped increase demand for applications and locations where sensors couldn’t be monitored in the past. 

Another driver is the updates to the NERC CIP standards which are mostly concerned with cyber security and classifying / identifying critical assets, which could lead to a change in the security requirements for transmission substations. For example, NERC CIP Version 4 states any substation that maintains transmission lines at a capacity of 500kv or higher are now considered a critical asset. 

Solar power plants, oil refineries and LNG plants are also expected to be strong markets to sell perimeter security equipment, says Kozak’s note. The capacity of solar power is expected to increase dramatically, especially in the Americas. This will increase the demand for remote sensors as well as sensors which can cover long distances cost-effectively, namely fiber optic cables.

As of October 2013, the U.S. was on pace to top Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. This presents good opportunities for thermal imaging, ground-based radar, VCA and fence sensors, says the IHS analyst. Moreover, from 2013 through 2017, globally over 200 oil refineries are planned for construction.

Overall, critical infrastructure sites are projected to be the fastest growing end-user applications for electronic perimeter security because of the strong construction growth, regulations and more advanced security sensors and solutions which allow for proper surveillance, maintenance and configuration of the sensors. While these factors impact the short term, the future outlook will reside with new technology developments and changes to end-user demand.  

 

 

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