The global transformer oil market is expected to reach USD 4.05 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Rural electrification in emerging economies and expanding manufacturing sites have driven energy needs and boosted transformers growth, subsequently contributing to oils demand in recent years.

These products possess excellent insulative and electrical properties, oxidative stability and controlled low or negative gassing tendency. Crude oil is the major raw material, leading to price volatility owing to supply fluctuation in the global market. Political instability and crashing crude prices have driven industry growth in recent years, as consumers are opting for bulk volume purchases.

Technological advancements and increasing R&D initiatives by prominent industry players have also contributed to market expansion in recent years. Cargill is one such innovator, which was even awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the development of Envirotemp FR3 transformer oils from natural esters.

Mineral-based products dominated the market in 2016, accounting for over 82% of the volume share. The highest contribution was observed from the paraffinic base sub-segment. These products are available on a global scale and are compatible with most electrical equipment. However, bio-based products are expected to grow at a rapid pace owing to increasing awareness regarding sustainability and recyclability.

Further key findings from the report suggest:

High demand for silicone based oils owing to their self-extinguishing capability which makes them suitable for high risk environments with potential fire hazards. Silicones also contribute to extended transformer life since they do not break down or require significant maintenance.

Bio-based is expected to emerge as the fastest growing product, with an approximate CAGR of 14%, driven largely by rising sustainably awareness and stringent regulations promoting lower carbon emissions and higher energy conservation

Asia Pacific is the leading consumer with high growth in emerging economies such as India and China, who are aiming to provide electricity distribution infrastructure & networks to undeveloped rural areas in order to bolster economic progress.

Replacement of existing, old transformers with new ones, and technological upgradation of the same are expected to provide ample lucrative opportunities in developing regions

Major players include BASF SE, Dairen Chemical Corporation, Nynas AB, Ergon Inc., Valvoline, PetroChina Company Ltd, Sinopec Corporation and Cargill Inc.