The tunnel boring machine market in APAC is expected to grow from US$ 2,509.75 million in 2019 to US$ 4,027.81 million by 2027; it is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2020 to 2027.
Technological developments are of greater use in tunnel construction since they allow easy access to construction in any ground conditions. Innovative monitors and sensors placed in the tunnel boring machines help in the smooth functioning of machines while excavating. Large diameter tunnel projects for transport infrastructures have influenced the research and development in tunnel boring machine design. Advanced machines can cope with mixed rock/ground conditions and change their operational mode depending on ground conditions. Large machines with diameters ranging from 14 to 17 meters have been manufactured and utilized across APAC. Innovative technologies are being developed in various countries to treat the ground ahead of the machine and control the groundwater inflows. Variable density tunnel boring machines are next-gen multimodal machines used for soft soils. Without significant mechanical adaptations, variable density machines merge the basic technologies of enclosed soft ground tunnel boring machines, maintaining control of pressure on the face. These machines are used as a slurry pressure tunnel boring machine using an air bubble system to control face pressure and an earth balance pressure mode. Lately, these machines have been deployed for various major projects since they have the ability to work in different ground conditions. In the coming years, the trend toward the machines with large diameters and the innovations in tunnel boring machine technology will surge, which will focus on developing new and more efficient systems to treat the ground ahead of the tunnel in different geologies. Thus, these factors would open the doors for opportunities in the coming years. Also, rising rail infrastructure enhancement across APAC countries is among the other factors expected to positively influence the demand for tunnel boring machines.
In terms of type, the slurry TBM segment led the APAC tunnel boring machine market in 2019. A slurry tunnel boring machine is used when the ground conditions are rough with high water pressure. It is ideal for digging soils with high water content. The machine is integrated with a slurry system that manages the pressure in the excavation face by inserting pressurized slurry into the cutter chamber. Further, slurry machines are highly installed in major projects. For instance, in September 2017, Robbins’s slurry tunnel boring machine was installed for Mumbai metro line 3 with a diameter of 6.65 meters. The machine was deployed under contract UGC03 for the Dogus-Soma JV (DSJV) and started excavation in 2017.
The COVID-19 outbreak pushed lockdowns across APAC countries after March 2019, paralyzing economic activity throughout the region as factories were shut. The region comprises the world’s two most populated countries and manufacturing hubs—i.e. India and China. China virtually imposed strict lockdown and social isolation, which stopped manufacturing and producing various machinery for several weeks resulting in shrinking its country economy. Moreover, the country restricted import and export of critical raw materials and equipment for many industries that disrupted the supply chain of numerous end-users. Also, India imposed a nationwide lockdown to control the growing number of COVID-19 cases. Subsequently, the lockdown and disruption of various industrial machines across China and India negatively impacted the growth of the APAC tunnel boring machine market in 2020. APAC is a crucial region for the growth of the construction and infrastructure industry due to various developing countries such as China, India, and Southeast Asian countries. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the construction and infrastructure activities have seen a sharp decline, with multiple projects on hold and labor unavailability due to movement restrictions in various countries. The government of various countries is taking drastic measures to reduce the effects of the outbreak by announcing lockdowns, travel, and trade bans, which would hinder the demand for tunnel boring machines in this region till mid-2021.
The overall APAC tunnel boring machine market size has been derived using both primary and secondary sources. To begin the research process, exhaustive secondary research has been conducted using internal and external sources to obtain qualitative and quantitative information related to the market. The process also serves the purpose of obtaining an overview and forecast for the APAC tunnel boring machine market with respect to all the segments pertaining to the region. Also, multiple primary interviews have been conducted with industry participants and commentators to validate the data, as well as to gain more analytical insights into the topic. The participants of this process include industry experts such as VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers, and national sales managers, along with external consultants such as valuation experts, research analysts, and key opinion leaders, specializing in the APAC tunnel boring machine market. China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Co., Ltd.; Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry Group Co., Ltd.; Herrenknecht AG; Hitachi Zosen corporation; IHI Corporation; Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.; Komatsu Ltd.; TERRATEC Ltd.; and The Robbins Company are among the players operating in the market.