High Growth Projected for Perimeter Security in Critical Infrastructure

AUSTIN, Texas — While most critical infrastructure sites are target applications for electronic perimeter security, electrical utilities and oil refineries are projected to have the most growth opportunity, according to research firm IHS Inc. 

The global market size for electronic perimeter security sensors and video in electrical utilities and oil refineries is forecast to top $160 million in 2014, the research firm reports.

Electrical utilities have experienced strong growth despite the economic slowdown in 2011 and 2012. Part of this growth is resulting from the trend to use remote video and networked sensors in order to configure and maintain sensors from remote locations, says Blake Kozak, senior analyst for access control, fire and security at IHS. 

“For example, there has been demand to integrate video with detection sensors and network these back to a central monitoring station,” Kozak says. “This has helped increase demand for applications and locations where sensors couldn’t be monitored in the past.” 

Another driver is the updates to the NERC CIP standards that are mostly concerned with cyber security and classifying/identifying critical assets, which could lead to a change in the security requirements for transmission substations. For instance, NERC CIP Version 4 states any substation that maintains transmission lines at a capacity of 500kv or higher are now considered a critical asset. 

 Solar power plants, oil refineries and LNG plants are also expected to be strong markets to sell perimeter security equipment. The capacity of solar power is expected to increase dramatically, especially in the Americas. This will increase the demand for remote sensors, as well as sensors that can cover long distances cost effectively, namely fiber optic cables. As of October of this year, the United States was on pace to top Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, according to IHS. This presents noteworthy opportunities for thermal imaging, ground based radar, VCA and fence sensors. Moreover, from 2013 through 2017, globally more than 200 oil refineries are planned for construction, according to IHS. 

Overall, critical infrastructure sites are projected to be the fastest growing end-user applications for electronic perimeter security because of the strong construction growth, regulations and more advanced security sensors and solutions which allow for proper surveillance, maintenance and configuration of the sensors. While these factors impact the short term, the future outlook will reside with new technology developments and changes to end-user demand. 

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