The global propane market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the foreseeable future. Propane gas is extracted from crude oil using the stabilization process via fractional distillation. Propane, being a green fuel, burns clearly and efficiently without releasing any harmful emissions. Propane is a clean approved fuel, which has been listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and also in the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. This has resulted in high demand for propane from many sectors.
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Propane finds its application in several important sectors such as residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, transportation, and chemical and refinery. At present, propane is used in around 48 million households and several businesses for water and space heating, outdoor and indoor cooking, drying clothes, and as a backup power source. Furthermore, propane is easy to transport and can be used in areas beyond natural gas mains. The portability of propane can be attributed to the fact that it is 270 times more compact in its liquid form than its gaseous form and is economical to store.
Lack of Awareness about Propane as a Green Fuel to Suppress the Market
Even though many agencies have approved propane as a green fuel, the lack of awareness about the benefits of propane as a clean fuel is suppressing this market. According to a leading market research agency, the global propane market will grow at a CAGR of 3.56% during the forecast period of 2014 to 2022. Nonetheless, the market will expand from total market revenue of US$114.44 billion of 2013 to US$145.82 billion by 2022.
The propane industry is engaged in providing training and education to increase awareness about the safe handling, use, and maintenance of propane and related equipment. Several certification programs are available from reputed agencies that are focused on increasing awareness about this clean fuel. This will help the industry overcome the challenge of limited awareness about this fuel.
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Propane for Power Generation will Support Market Growth
The residential segment was the largest consumer from the global propane market in 2013 and accounted for 32.57% of the global propane market. It is expected that the residential segment will hold a share of 30.47% in the global propane market by 2022. Propane is used in the residential sector as a substitute fuel due to its low carbon emissions and safety. The delivery output, efficiency, and value of propane-powered home appliances is much higher as compared to other energy resources. Hence, the demand for propane for power generation will fuel the growth of the global propane market.
The second largest sector in the global propane market is chemical and refinery. This sector held a 25.74% market share in 2013 and is expected to reach a share of 29.77% by 2022. According to market analysts, both petrochemical and chemical processing industries will exhibit significant growth in demand for propane in the coming few years.
Asia Pacific to Dominate Global Propane Market
Geographically, Asia Pacific took up a 39.18% share of the global market in 2013. It is anticipated that the Asia Pacific propane market will hold a share of 41.39% by 2022, due to the growing demand from the petrochemical industry in this region.
Alternatively, substantial growth will be observed in the North American propane market due to its large industrial sector, which will augment the transportation industry. Increasing demand for propane from the petrochemical industry in the MEA region will fuel the growth of the market. Furthermore, the surplus supply and affordable rates of propane in North America will support the growth of this market.
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Some of the key players operating in the global propane market are Aero Energy, Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., AmeriGas Propane Partners, and Campora Propane Services.
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