PP use in pipes will grow fast

PP will grow by 9% a year between 2001 and 2006, compared with the industry average of 3.1%, David Durand of Phillip Townsend Associates told Pipes 2002 in Brussels. This growth rate will enable PP to increase its share in Europe’s 3.6 million tonne thermoplastic pipe market. It currently holds 250,000 tonnes. According to Durand, the sewage pipe sector will be the highest growth area for PP with rates of up to 15% a year. The key drivers will include performance pipe economics, attitudes to PVC, especially in Nordic markets, as well as existing European experience of PP for pipe systems.

Peter Degenhart of Sabic Euro Petrochemicals forecast PP’s growth potential at 5.5% a year. In his view, the growth rates in the 9% a year area were experienced during the late 1990s. The key target markets for material from Sabic Euro Petrochemicals, formed through Sabic’s purchase of DSM, are hot and cold water, industrial, soil and waste water applications.

Wavin executive vice-president Henk Ten Hove gave delegates a cautionary view of prospects in the East European market. In countries such as Poland and Hungary, the governments are making spending cutbacks as they strive to meet financial targets for EU membership. The result, he said, was a fall in the construction index for the region this year. The figure was down by 1.1%, although Wavin remains confident that the growth will recover to about 7% if spending and support resume.

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