Stagnation induced by deregulation uncertainly in the European power plant construction industry has had a deleterious affect on the steam turbine industry, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.

European and Middle East steam turbine markets have been in steady decline over the past few years. Sales have fallen from 151 units in 1997 to 102 in 2000. The study attributes the decline to generators’ uncertainty about the eventual outcome of deregulation and liberalisation. Electricity prices have fallen and there is a surfeit of capacity in western Europe.

However, from this year on the market should show increased growth. Demand will be stoked by intensifying replacement requirements, tightening competition, the benefits of deregulation and a continued demand for combined cycle and cogeneration plants to meet new environmental regulations.

The report also notes that while most units sold in 2000 were under 50 MW, the greatest returns were from the 100 MW-300 MW sector. The latter are in demand for combined cycle plants.