- First of all project sizes are getting bigger in the energy sector. Gerhard mentioned an Alberta oil plant project seven years ago that cost $6-7 billion which was considered large at the time. Currently bidding is underway for a $60 billion LNG terminal in Mozambique.
- What this means is that modular prefabrication will be increasingly used, indeed required, for projects of this size. One of the advantages of modular prefab is that it reduces the number of workers on-site.
- Gerhard is expecting that energy demand will increase by a 1/3 by 2030. He expects the total capex for energy-related infrastructure to exceed $1 trillion. What he is seeing from Intergraph's customers is that gas is booming, green continues to grow, and nuclear is coming back - projects are actually being built, not just planned, in Turkey, the US, China, and other countries.
- Shipbuilding continues to be depressed, but offshore (oil platforms) is growing.
- He sees shale gas on the rise, and went so far as to predict that it will shake up the industry. For one thing, it is cheaper than offshore oil (or oil sands I would add from a Canadian perspective). But from a software vender's persepctive shale gas plants are simple compared to other forms of energy and his team is looking into what the implications of this are for plant design software.