Legislation spurs growth of European hazardous-areas equipment market

European market for equipment used in hazardous areas is predicted to grow to more than Euro 2.0 billion by the end of this decade, a report from IMS Research indicates.


European market for equipment used in hazardous areas is predicted to grow to more than Euro 2.0 billion by the end of this decade, a report from IMS Research indicates. The European market for this equipment in 2003 was estimated at Euro 1.3 billion.

Market growth is currently being driven by legislation following ATEX Directives , said IMS Research market analyst Don Tait. “This adds to the effect of general growth of production in the oil and gas, chemical, and pharmaceutical sectors, which today account for over half the market for this equipment. The European market as a whole will grow at a compound-average annual growth rate of around 6% to 2009,” Tait went on. “However, the Eastern European market, which is today relatively small, will grow at 1.5 times this rate. This is the result of investment in the latest EU member states to bring production to EU standards,” he said.

The market for this equipment is in a period of significant change, IMS pointed out, as media exposure of ATEX Directives seizes the attention of users and suppliers. Two-thirds of those responding to the survey had an annual expenditure on equipment for hazardous areas of more than Euro 10,000. Key findings from the survey reported:

  • Around 3/4 of respondents said compliance with ATEX 137 was important to them;

  • User awareness of gas and vapor zone specifications (Zones 1, 2, and 3) was higher than awareness of the more recent specifications on dust zones (Zone 20, 21, and 22); and

  • A fifth of those responding said they required IECEx certification in addition to ATEX.

ATEX (from the French words ATmosphere EXplosible) directives provide technical requirements to be applied to equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres in the European Union. All such electrical and mechanical equipment must be certified in accordance with the ATEX directives, which became mandatory in July 2003. The IECEx (International Trade of Electrical Equipment used in Explosive Atmospheres) Scheme is intended to facilitate international trade in electrical equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres (referred to as Ex equipment).

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com

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