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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aging Systems, Operational Integrity Assurance Drive Process Safety Systems

The need to replace aging systems and new end-user attitudes toward safety are driving growth in the worldwide process safety system market toward $3 billion, according to a new research report published by ARC Advisory Group.

The vibrant oil and gas industry is the largest user of process safety systems. The industry has been growing worldwide due to projects for new unconventional resources and large complex offshore projects. The ARC report forecasts the process safety system market will exceed $3 billion worldwide in 2017. Oil refining, petrochemicals production, and power generation are among the industrial processes that rely on the systems.

A replacement market opportunity has emerged, as older systems have become difficult to support.  As well, ARC notes that plant owner/operators are taking notice of the severity of recent accidents and incidents in the process industries along with recognizing the need for greater operational integrity. End-user companies are revisiting their processes, procedures, and systems.

The need for higher operational integrity is becoming widely recognized, and owner-operators are rethinking their policies for both new and existing assets, according to ARC Senior Analyst Harry Forbes, the principal author of the Process Safety Systems Global Market Research Study.  “Huge new offshore projects and unconventional oil and gas resources bring the challenge of managing safety for critical assets and systems in very remote locations,” said Forbes. “The practices developed for these new projects will end up being adopted elsewhere across industry.”

ARC notes that “with the exception of a very few sophisticated owner-operators,” most end-users lack experience in efficient safety project design and implementation, as well as in-depth knowledge of safety standards such as IEC 61508 and IEC 61511.

This is increasing the trend of safety system suppliers and safety specialist engineering firms working closely with end-users in the design, implementation, and support of process safety systems and even end-users working with each other in joint working teams for process safety projects.

For more on the study, see here.

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