Business Outlook

2018: Large industrial plant manufacturing in a VUCA world
The business environment in the large industrial plant manufacturing industry has been difficult in recent years, and this trend is likely to hold up for the foreseeable future.

General market situation

Mega-projects, i.e. complex projects with order values of over half a billion euros to several billion euros, were typical over many years of the demand for large-scale plants.
Given its internationalism and the long-term nature of the projects the sector is more reliant than other sectors of industry on stable political and financial framing conditions.

Western Europe and United States

Near and Middle East

Demand for large-scale industrial plants in the Near and Middle East fell by 25%. The most important customer country in 2016, measured by new orders, was Saudi Arabia.

Raw Materials

Trends in raw material prices are a central economic indicator in large industrial plant manufacturing. Rising quotations provide stimuli for investment in exploration projects and boost the budgets of the customers, who can use these funds to invest in plants for refining the raw materials.

Domestic market

Domestic orders rose by 42 % in 2016, to EUR 3.7 billion (2015: EUR 2.6 billion), thus regaining the level seen in 2014.

North Africa

Business is currently booming in Egypt. The country is planning to practically double its power generation capacities by 2018, and it is turning to German technology to achieve this.


The weakness in the Chinese market is persisting. Against that, in 2016 large-scale plant manufacturing succeeded in acquiring a few projects of over EUR 100 million, unlike in 2015. However, the level is too low to suggest a change in the general trend.
Klaus Gottwald
Klaus Gottwald
Press, Communications, Engineering Summit, Constructionmanagement
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