Following last month’s focus on Spain, gasworld Business Intelligence examines the dynamics of the Portuguese industrial gas market.

The commercial industrial gas market in Portugal is estimated to have generated revenues of around $350m in 2014. This is up from around $235m in 2004, indicating an average annual growth rate of 4.2% for the decade.

Portugal’s economy has struggled in recent years, as the Eurozone crisis hit the country (and continent) hard. As one of the so-called “GIPSI” economies (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy), it has been characterised by high employment, high debt and low growth over the last few years. The economy saw negative growth between 2011-2013, but has since begun to recover, and grew by 1% in 2014.

Over the past decade, industrial production, as measured by the industrial production index, has declined on average by 3.0% p.a.

The Portuguese market is very much consolidated, and a number of the major international gas companies dominate. Air Liquide is by far the biggest, accounting for almost half of all activity. The company has been active in the country since the 1920s and operates a number of production facilities on a merchant and supply scheme basis.

In 2014, Air Products GASIN replaced Praxair as the second-largest company operating the country. The former has a share of just under 19%, whereas the latter has a marginally smaller share of 18%.

Linde has been present in the Portuguese market since 1946, and occupies a share of approximately 13%. Messer’s share is very small, whereas independent, indigenous companies (such as Acail) account for just 4%.

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