Plastic plumbing market to see upward trend to 2021

The plastic plumbing market has been on an upward growth

The advent of the plastic plumbing system has reduced the manual labor it takes to install pipes.
The advent of the plastic plumbing system has reduced the manual labor it takes to install pipes.

The growing infrastructure developments in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait are anticipated to boost demand for HVAC and plumbing systems, and thereby, drive the market for pipes, coils and fittings in these countries through 2021.

Residential plumbing pipes come in many varieties and types of metal and plastic pipes. For example, copper pipes (metal), galvanized steel (metal), polyvinyl chloride pipes or PVC pipes (plastic), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipes or CPVC pipes (plastic), cross-linked polyethylene or PEX pipes (plastic), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and many more.

With the construction market booming as a result of upcoming mega events, Jan Lohoff, regional director MEA at Aliaxis, said in an earlier interview with MEP Middle East, that the plumbing industry is quite buoyant in that aspect. He said: “Looking at the entire GCC MEP market, the drive is more towards sustainable transformation related to material and systems used, e.g., while copper and metal might have been used in the past, the trend is towards plastic piping systems, and sustainable and innovative solutions.

“For example, acoustic drainage piping systems, which reduce noise levels in buildings and increase the comfort of living, are becoming the preferred choice in high-end and prestigious projects that are known for setting new market standards.”

Lohoff also says that nowadays operating costs are being considered as important, which often leads to using plumbing material of better quality and value.

“LEED and other environmental standards, especially in the UAE, are of great importance as the country strives for a more sustainable environment. This also impacts new requirements for plumbing-related products due to the relevance of water quality and consumption,” Lohoff added.

In a late 2017 interview with Tatiana Abou Chedid, marketing manager at API (Advanced Plastic Industries), she too said that the Middle East has been crowned a main converter of plastic materials, and has enjoyed the growth of regional plastics processing markets. She said: “As the strive for economic diversity amongst the petrochemical nations of the GCC persists, so will the demand for superior performing polymers. Additionally, the region’s rapid urban development and ongoing infrastructure investments also demand a wide range of plastic processed products. 

“In general, the plastics processing industry follows the growth trend of a given economy. Today, with provincial producers subjected to falling revenues due to weakened economies, and competitor accessibility to cheap raw materials, we are unquestionably at the core of a challenging business environment. However, it is the manufacturers’ responsibility to minimize production costs and improve economies of scale, without compromising quality and performance of their products.”

She said that the Middle East still offers great prospects, especially in the piping sector, as there are countless infrastructure opportunities that require advanced solutions. 

Chedid said that the Middle East is witnessing intertwined drivers that power growth in the plastic piping industry, such as fast infrastructure growth and boom in urbanisation. As the piping industry expands in parallel to the building and construction industry, the demand for highly engineered polyolefins for infrastructure systems ascends. Plastic pipes are excessively replacing traditional metal ones in various applications, especially since they can be equally durable, are healthier, inexpensive, and also recyclable. Massive residential and commercial developments require the latest innovation and technological developments in material performance, as well as wider fields of application. 

An additional hot industry driver is sustainability and environmental protection. Pipes made of new plastics, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), minimise environmental footprint, enhance social responsibility, and serve as a green solution.

She said: “The entire downstream of the industry in the region is fueled by various intertwined drivers, which provide impetus for growth and opportunity in the piping industry throughout the Middle East.”

Some of the advantages of using plastic pipes are that they are corrosion resistant — a plastic plumbing system pipe isn’t easily corroded by exposure to water and common household chemicals; offer low heat conductivity — unlike metal, plastic doesn’t conduct heat well so it’s better able to maintain the temperature of the water it carries; offer easier installation — because plastic pipes are light and easy to handle, plumbing jobs done with these pipes nearly always cost less than those that involve metal pipes; has fewer blockages — some plumbers find plastic drainpipes are less likely to clog than metal ones and are easier to unclog when they do.

The advent of the plastic plumbing system has reduced the manual labor it takes to install pipes, but it’s increased the amount of knowledge required to design a plumbing system. 


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