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12688666_sAccording to Meidata, the Israeli Market Research and Competitive Intelligence company, maritime infrastructure security is evolving along recent years as a result of the on-going near-coast threats. Particularly in Africa, vulnerable and valuable oil-rigs and slow-moving oil tankers are an easy target for terrorists and pirates. Nigeria has seen a spike in piracy over the past few years. Around the world, ports and harbors are exposed to frequent security threats including illicit substance smuggling, radioactive materials, and hostage crises. Now, countries and companies are willing to increase spending on maritime facilities security.

The wide maritime and port security segment includes numerous elements, from training of security personnel to communication devices. In addition, a secure maritime facility requires monitoring cargo and activities, as well as monitoring and controlling access to ships and port infrastructure. The expanding need for maritime security allows HLS and defense companies to pursue this evolving market.

According to Shcneider Electric, a global company in the fields of automation, control and electrical systems security, the global port security market size ranges between $1-$2 billion. The United States’ portion of this market is estimated at 10-15% of the global market size, with a direct government spending of hundreds of millions of dollars in port security every year.

The lucrative geographical area in terms of market potential appears to be the Asia-Pacific region, where a significant number of projects are expected in the next 5-7 years. This is while the European port security market had reached its maximum size in 2011, and will continue its gradual slowdown during the coming years.

Meidata’s analysis of the port and maritime facility security market identifies a number of the central trends in the industry. One of the most distinguishable entrepreneurships in the maritime security segment, discussed in the report, is the United States’ “Mega-Ports” plan. The plan, which aspires to provide security equipment to 50% of all ships by 2018 and equip over a 100 ports worldwide, focuses on promoting and selling radioactive-material-detecting gamma scanners.

Another significant investment in maritime infrastructure security is identified in Brazil, where the government plans to invest a significant budget in protecting sea ports out of a total $900 million security budget invested towards the sports games in 2014 and 2016.

The products and services  in the maritime infrastructure security projects located by Meidata include entrance & access control systems, security cameras & PSIM systems, Smart fences, Gama radiation & X-Ray scanners for shipping containers, VTMS (Vessel Traffic Management Systems) and patrol boats, all meant for coping with a wide range of operational scenarios.

Building of new ports and expansion of existing ports serves as another driver for the industry. Meidata identifies a high number of new projects for upgrading and expanding existing ports in India, LATAM and the United States, areas where it is estimated that additions to existing security arrays will be needed in order to provide security according to the International Maritime Organization’s ISPS standards (International Ship & Port Facility Security).