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Construction chemical demand is rising in the GCC

Reports suggest that an increase in economic development, expansion in the region’s construction industry, and the growing need for better infrastructure are all having a positive impact on the Middle East and Africa’s construction chemicals market

ANALYSIS, Materials
ANALYSIS, Materials

A niche segment of the construction industry, construction chemicals are specialty products that optimise the performance of concrete, increase the life of structures, and impart additional protection from environmental hazards.

The global market is forecast to reach $40.15bn by 2022, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% during the period 2016 to 2022, according to a recent report by Allied Market Research.

The report states: “The Asia Pacific, and Latin America, Middle East, and Africa (LAMEA) construction chemicals [markets are] expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities, during the forecast period, with CAGRs of 5.8% and 6.1%, respectively.”

It continues: “Key elements driving the construction chemicals market growth include [a] rise in [the] construction industry, [an] increase in urbanisation, and [growing] conformity with [the] latest manufacturing standards. However, change in [the] regulatory environment and low consumer awareness inhibit the market growth.”

The trend of growing urbanisation is also spurring growth in the Asia Pacific segment of the global construction chemicals market, as it fuels the growth of infrastructure projects, thereby leading to the consumption of 65% of the world’s cement production, according to another report, this time by Future Market Insight. The Construction Chemicals Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2014 – 2020 goes on to say that manufacturers of construction chemicals might see a 3% to 4% rise in current prices, due to changes in raw material prices and increased demand for new products.

Similarly, the growth of infrastructure developments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) means it is also projected to be a key market for construction chemicals, according to Grand View Research. The analyst stated, in a report published in April 2016, that the infrastructure segment was expected to grow rapidly, with a CAGR of 7.7% to 2024.

However, while Grand’s report, stated that the non-residential and infrastructure sector collectively accounted for over 60% of the global revenue share in 2015 in the construction chemicals market, Allied Market Research’s study contends that it is actually the residential and infrastructure end-user segments that together accounted for 60% of the market share, in terms of volume, in 2015.

While concrete admixtures, together with waterproofing and roofing chemical segments, dominated the construction chemicals market in 2015 – accounting for around 66% of the market share collectively – according to the Allied report, it is the concrete admixtures segment that currently leads the construction chemicals market, with more than 33% of the market share during the forecast period.

Grand View Research agrees that construction admixtures is a crucial segment within the construction chemicals market, stating that, in 2015, the concrete admixtures market was estimated at $17.35bn. The Grand report concludes that by 2024, the global construction chemicals market can be expected to reach $67.61bn.

FIVE MINUTES WITH... Kevin Storey

Kevin Storey, managing director of Flowcrete Middle East, discusses demand for construction chemicals and explains why it is increasingly vital for these products to meet a number of regional and international standards

How would you assess current levels of demand for chemicals and admixtures within the region’s construction sector?

The construction sector is one of the major industries in the GCC region, and construction chemicals – such as admixtures, waterproofing compounds, floor hardeners, protective coatings, resins, adhesives, and sealants – play an important role in this industry to improve the durability and performance of buildings and infrastructure facilities.

The demand for construction chemicals is growing significantly, as we are witnessing many new opportunities for the construction industry all over the region. Expo 2020 in the UAE, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, [and] many other large-scale infrastructure projects in the pipeline all over the GCC, such as airports, metro networks, ports, roads, bridges, and hotels, are all creating a high demand for specialised construction chemical solutions.

Concrete admixtures and waterproofing chemicals are the most sought-after construction chemicals in the region due to their applicability for both residential and commercial developments. Demand for protective coatings, as well as adhesives and sealants, is also seeing a significant amount of growth.

Has your company introduced any new products to the GCC market during the last year?

Flowcrete Middle East provides a wide range of seamless resin flooring solutions, from heavy-duty systems for intense manufacturing facilities, to luxurious decorative coatings for commercial environments, through to ultraviolet- (UV) stable car park deck coating systems. Recently, Flowcrete has launched its Clean Suitable Materials (CSM) qualified products, Flowshield SL and Flowseal EPW. These epoxy floor and wall coatings have been formulated to meet the strict requirements of demanding cleanroom standards.

Which chemical and admixture related disciplines are witnessing the greatest levels of innovation at present?

With a number of new government-driven initiatives being concerned with improving air quality, preserving water resources, and increasing clean energy, construction industry suppliers are increasingly gearing their products towards providing long-term advantages such as efficient energy utilisation, sustainability, and longevity.

At Flowcrete Middle East, our aim is to innovate and introduce new technologies that use concrete admixtures to improve the concrete. For example, we are able to provide admixtures that allow for faster and higher levels of pumping with less wear-and-tear on equipment, and a quicker turn-around of truck mixers.

What trends do you expect to witness within the region’s chemicals and admixtures segment in the next year?

Sustainability is a key trend in the chemical and admixtures segment, as it is imperative for developers to meet green building standards and the construction chemicals that are used in the building process can have a significant impact on the project’s environmental credentials.

At Flowcrete Middle East, this meant analysing the entire lifecycle of our flooring systems, from how they are manufactured to how they are delivered, installed, maintained, and replaced. As part of this, we have drastically reduced or completely removed toxic substances used during the production process, minimised packaging, streamlined transportation procedures, and cut down on the amount of waste sent to landfills by recycling them into our products and developing systems that will last for the lifetime of the building.

How has the region’s chemicals and admixtures segment improved during recent years?

Construction chemicals are a key ingredient in building safer, stronger, and more energy efficient structures, and the demand for high-performing products that solve challenging situations keeps growing. The introduction of organisations such as the Qatar Green Building Council have helped the region’s chemicals and admixtures segment ensure that it meets a high standard of sustainability and performance.

From a performance perspective it is also becoming increasingly important for construction materials to meet a number of regional and international benchmarks. At Flowcrete Middle East, our key food and beverage (F&B) flooring range has recently been HACCP International certified, which means that specifiers know that they will source a finish that meets all the various hygiene regulations, as required.

What are your company’s major Middle East priorities for the next 12 months?

Flowcrete Middle East is committed to delivering the best products and services to our clients. We will focus on our core markets of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, as well as our best-selling products, which include the antimicrobial enhanced, HACCP International certified, polyurethane range, Flowfresh, as well as Deckshield, which has been designed specifically to coat car park decks.

On a further note, Flowcrete is part of The Euclid Group, a newly formed union of construction chemicals brands that will enable us to provide an enhanced range of products and building solutions. Some of the new products we are going to introduce to the Middle Eastern market, in the future, include Eucocrete, Euco Rock, Eucolastic 1 NS, Dry Pack grout, Euco QWIKstich, and EucoFloor SL160.

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