Africa offers lucrative untapped opportunities for the HVAC+R industry

According to a recent report, by 2024 the Middle East and Africa (MEA) HVAC+R market is projected to generate a revenue of $10.1 billion. While climate change is boosting a year-over-year (YoY) market growth in the Middle East, several factors, such as surging religious tourism, growing construction industry, and upcoming major events like the Climexpo 2019 are driving the market.

If broken down, the HVAC market is categorized into multiple segments including ventilation, heating, and cooling. The cooling category is subdivided into chillers, split units, ducted split/packaged units, VRFs, and room air conditioners (RACs). Among these, as VRF systems are more economical and are becoming popular in commercial spaces, such as hypermarkets/supermarkets, offices, and stadiums, the VRF category is expected to grow the fastest during the forecast period. As the construction of green buildings, such as the King Abdullah Financial District in Saudi Arabia, are fueling the demand for high-efficiency VRF systems. VRF systems and single splits (ducted and ductless) together account for more than 50% of the total number of HVAC systems installed in commercial offices or buildings in the country. The number of green buildings being constructed in the region is witnessing a positive YoY growth, which is a driving factor in the demand for VRF systems.

Geographically, the African continent is divided into two by the Equator. Now, countries close to the Equator have a mean yearly temperature of around 32C with 40-50% humidity. The economic stability in countries, such as the Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Gabon and Nigeria, has led to a rise in the spending capacity of citizens. Therefore, the increasing income, and the hot and humid climate in the region are leading to the growth of the Middle East and Africa HVAC market. Looking at the increase in temperature in the Sub-Saharan region, having a HVAC system is no longer considered a luxury, but a necessity. The change in climate has become a major driver for HVAC systems sales that were at their peak during the summer of 2017. That season, countries including Kuwait, Iran, and Iraq recorded the highest temperature of 54C! According to the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, the summer temperature in the MEA region is slated to rise twice as fast as the global average. Therefore, the increasing temperature would offer lucrative opportunities to the players in the Middle East and Africa HVAC market.

Johnson Controls International plc, United Technologies Corporation, and Ingersoll-Rand plc together held over 50.0% share in the Middle East and Africa HVAC market in 2017. Apart from these, other companies are also increasingly introducing new products to maintain or establish their leadership. For example, Daikin Industries Ltd. announced the launch of its high-efficiency inverter screw chiller series with R-1234ze(E) refrigerant in December 2017.