Marine propulsion is the system or mechanism used to generate thrust that allows a small boat or even a ship to move across waterways. Modern ships are usually equipped with mechanical systems consisting of an electric motor turning a propeller, or even pump-jets or an impeller. These ships employ reciprocating engines as their main source of power because of their robustness, operational simplicity and lower emissions. The power required by a ship largely depends on the way it is used during regular operations – for e.g. – A passenger ship requires less power than either a trade or naval ship. The marine propulsion engine market serves offshore support vessels, commercial vessels, inland waterway vessels, submarines and more.
Focus on renewable energy fuelling the marine propulsion engine market
A growing need for dependent and fuel-efficient ships is anticipated to be the main driver of the marine propulsion engine market. There has been rapid innovation in the industry that has led to the development of new high-performance engines that are more fuel-efficient than their predecessors. Leading companies in the marine propulsion engine market are continuously innovating and extending their product offerings to handle the growing demand for greater capacity handling. This is mainly due to a rise in international seaborne trade caused by a globalised world with heavy interdependence and interconnectivity.
The second major factor that is likely to impact the marine propulsion engine market is the focus on renewable energy sources. Global warming and an impending energy crisis are some of the biggest challenges faced by the world in the 21st century. Commercial and transport ships notorious for causing a lot of pollution and accidental oil spills not only damage the regional natural ecosystem but also negatively impact the company’s goodwill and market image. That is why energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy, electric energy and hydroelectric energy are becoming more important than ever before. The development of electric motors that can power ships and reduce fossil fuel consumption will definitely have a positive impact on the marine propulsion engine market. The depletion of shale gas and conventional reserves will increase the demand for LNG, particularly as a marine fuel.
Regulatory hurdles – the biggest challenge to the marine propulsion engine market
Uncontrollable CO2 emissions from conventional engine systems have led to the implementation of stringent environmental regulations and various taxes such as carbon tax to help reduce the impact of climate change. The marine pollution convention (MARPOL) regulations help prevent sewage, oil and chemical spill contamination along with air pollution caused by marine propulsion engine exhaust fumes. Non-adherence to these governmental rules and regulations may lead to severe penalties running into billions of dollars. This can stifle the growth of the marine propulsion engine market particularly as smaller domestic companies may not be able to comply.
Asia Pacific is the key marine propulsion engine market to watch
Asia Pacific accounts for a major portion of the marine propulsion engine market and is anticipated to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. This is primarily because of key nations China, Japan and South Korea that have become manufacturing powerhouses heavily dependent on external trade. China is already the world’s largest exporter and would naturally require a greater number of commercial ships, thus having a positive impact on the demand for marine propulsion engines. In addition to trade, countries across the world have begun beefing up their navies to combat ocean piracy. Asian navies, in particular, are rapidly building their defence capabilities and this should increase the size of the marine propulsion engine market across the Asia Pacific region.
Marine propulsion engine market: key players
Some of the key players in the marine propulsion engine market are Caterpillar, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., General Electric Company, and Masson Marine.
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