Generating $495m in 2013, up from $230m in 2003, the industrial gas sector in the Czech Republic has grown at an average annual rate of 8% over the last decade. The Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004 and has had 10 years now to reap the rewards of closer integration and European trade benefits.
The industrial gas companies have benefited from a growing number of onsite contracts, while also leveraging its position as a supplier to more established markets elsewhere in Europe. Revenues are likely to comfortably exceed $700m by 2020.
So what’s in the Czech Republic?
The market is dominated by three companies that between them control 85% of the marketplace:
Linde – 51%
Air Products – 20%
Messer – 15%
The remainder of the market is accounted for by a number of smaller companies.
There is significant onsite supply infrastructure in place, predominantly serving the steel and petrochemical industries. The merchant market is characterised by substantially larger volumes of bulk than packaged gas, though both are associated with similar levels of revenue.
There is a relatively diverse range of end-uses for industrial gas in the Czech Republic. Nonetheless, by revenue it remains the case that the metallurgical and refining industries dominate: together they accounted for close to half of all industrial gas sales in 2013.
Market to watch?
Hydrogen. There is a large amount of tonnage gas that is generated on a captive basis in the Czech Republic. This includes substantial volumes of oxygen and nitrogen and especially of hydrogen. The latter gas is predominantly consumed within the refining and chemical industries in the country and represents a potentially lucrative new source of income for the major industrial gas companies – if such end-users can be converted to supply scheme contracts instead.
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