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Gas Turbine orders skyrocket, up 47% for MW capacity in the last year compared to 2021.
The Western Turbine Users Inc. (WTUI) conference is taking place this week in San Diego, California. It traditionally kicks off with a review of the past year’s gas turbine sales and predictions for the coming year. Delivered by Mark Axford of Axford Turbine Consultants and Tony Brough of Dora Partners, the big news is that new gas turbine orders worldwide were up 47% in terms of MW capacity in 2022 compared to 2021.
This increase is particularly welcome after some difficult years. At last year’s show, they reported that new gas turbine orders (in MW) were down 12% in 2021 and that this was part of a longer term downward trend: The annual GT market was sized about 60 GW a decade ago and had dropped into the 30 GW to 40 GW range. It was heartening to see it return to around 50 GW for 2022 and achieve its highest level in more than six years. That number was considerably more than Axford predicted at last year’s WTUI event. He forecast that MW orders would be down overall in 2022.
Unit orders, though, told a different story. They had been up slightly in 2021 compared to the previous year but were slightly down in 2022. Overall, unit orders worldwide have been flat for years, just above 400 per year.
Brough commented that the 2022 surge in MW orders was down mainly to an increase in sales of large gas turbines. He added that orders for these machines tend to be cyclic so not to necessarily expect another jump in orders in 2023 for large-frame machines.
The presentation always ends with a look to the future. Axford expects overall worldwide GT orders to drop in 2023, perhaps down as low as 40 GW. He cautioned, however, that things can change rapidly. Who would have predicted that oil would surge again above $100 a barrel (as it did last summer), that inflation would continue above 6% per year, or that the war in Ukraine would pass the year mark? Such events cause major market disruptions and tend to throw off forecasts. Such unpredictability in the coming months could raise or lower the prospects for GT orders.
Get ready for more WTUI news in the coming days.