Researchers at Frost & Sullivan are pricing the South African air pollution control market was having been worth R20.744 billion ($2729.5 million) in 2008 and estimates it will reach R27 857 billion ($3665.5 million) in 2015 at current exchange rates.
Frost & Sullivan says the SA air pollution control market “is going through a dynamic phase of change as the impact of new legislation starts to have impact.”
It expects the market to continue growing, despite the current economic hardships faced by emission generating industries.
“The recent tightening of legislation has been a major driver behind growth in this market,” noted Frost & Sullivan environmental technologies analyst Derrick Chikanga.
“The Air Quality Act, which was passed into law in 2005, addresses all the short-comings that existed during the previous Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act.”
The new Air Quality Act focuses on ambient control rather than emissions control. As a result, the act presents new challenges to industries, as it imposes far stricter regulations and heftier penalties for non-compliant companies than ever before.
Currently, non-compliance by emission generators is still a major obstacle for the development of this market.
“Previously, most emission generators considered emissions control as a ‘nice-to-have’ technology rather than an essential requirement,” explains Chikanga. “As such, fume abatement technology is viewed as a grudge purchase, a capital cost not adding to the bottom line.”
Despite numerous challenges present as a result of non-compliance by some industrial segments, the market still presents numerous opportunities for growth. The energy and power sector, being the largest emissions generator, is currently undertaking an expansion initiative.
South Africa’s national electricity utility, Eskom, has embarked on an expansion drive to increase generation capacity and ensure a reliable supply of electricity to the country. Expansion in operations is likely to be accompanied by increased green house gas emissions.
To capitalise on growth opportunities, equipment suppliers will need to provide low-cost but reliable technology types to this market.
“Both the power generation and petrochemical industries are expected to generate large volumes of emissions as they embark on their expansion drive,” comments Chikanga. “The strict enforcement of legislation guarantees the need for responsible and holistic air pollution control mechanisms by these industries.”
SA’s Water and Environmental Affairs department earlier this month said air pollution is now responsible for over R4 billion in health costs.
“Health care costs associated with the burning of fossil fuels amount to R4 billion,” the department’s national air quality officer Peter Lukey told reporters in Vanderbijlpark at an Air Quality Governance Lekgotla.