New construction trends to boost plastics resins use in GCC

05 April 2012 09:19  [Source: ICIS news]

Plastics consumption in construction is growingDUBAI (ICIS)--New mega trends in the construction sector, such as no-dig pipes and geotextiles and membranes will boost the plastics resins consumption in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region based on the sustainable property of plastics, a senior industry executive said on Thursday.

GCC is still a net importer of finished pipes for instance, where about 8% of the regional consumption is imported, accounting for 60,000 tones/year, said Mitchell Killeen, Managing Director for Middle East, North Africa and India of LyondellBasell.

He was speaking at the Third GPCA (Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association) Plastics Summit which ends on Thursday. 

This is in contrast to Turkey, which exports more than $1m worth of converted plastics goods, he added.

However, with the emerging new global trends, the consumption of plastics resins in the construction sector will grow at low to high single digits depending on applications, Killeen said.

In 2011, the use of plastics resins in the construction sector in the GCC region was 25%, second largest after packaging, he said.

"Plastics have the advantage of sustainability and thus, [plastic] is suitable in sectors that require durability," he said. 

Demand for piping resins stays strong as such resins enable hygienic and labour-saving water management, he said, adding that up to 90% of the sewage was still discharged into waterways in this region.

Also, resins used in no-dig piping provide significant savings in evacuation of waste and energy, he added. 

Geotextiles used in road construction is expected to grow at 3-4% in the GCC region in the coming years, Killeen said.

Currently, about 65% of the geo-membranes are made of non-plastics.

But PE (polyethylene), TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer )-based membranes are increasingly used in buildings for water-proofing systems for its easy laying, welding and durability, he said.

For example, PE-based membranes are used in linings of artificial lakes and construction of waste dumping ground for protecting soil contamination, he added.

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Ong Sheau Ling
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