To be published: November 2021
The new edition of this report by AMI Consulting quantifies the market, its structure, the status of the technology and the changes which are underway. It builds on the prior editions of the report published in 2018.
After recovering from the Great Recession of 2008, most European countries continued growing, transitioning from the recovering stage to economic expansion. However, the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the global economy and with it, the European pipes industry. Nevertheless, the construction sector was not as negatively affected as other areas in the economy. Also, the plastic pipe industry has in general exhibited a lot of resilience and capacity to adapt to the new economic circumstances.
Confidence levels were high at the beginning of 2021 and companies picked up previously approved projects. Therefore, 2021 is expected to be a rebound year for the sector. However, the question is if this rebound will be enough to bring the construction sector to pre COVID-19 levels. On top of this, due to high uncertainty and the weaker financial position of many firms, investment levels on new longer-term projects could decline, negatively impacting additional construction activity and thus, the plastic pipes industry.
Growth opportunities exist in the further substitution of ‘traditional’ pipes (mainly ductile iron), as well as in the development and commercialisation of new plastic-based systems, designed to provide better solutions (in terms of cost/performance) for modern-day needs.
The market for infrastructure pipes is reputed for its conservatism. At AMI Consulting, we disagree with such characterisation. Admittedly, the market moves cautiously and gradually. But over the years we have seen tremendous changes, which – despite the cautious, gradual adoption rates – can only be described as revolutionary. The industry has seen how, for instance, practically every meter of low pressure gas distribution pipe installed in Europe has been plastic pipe. If nothing else, this example shows unequivocally that the market recognises, accepts and rewards valuable innovation. This will continue to drive demand for plastic pipes for both gas and pressure water systems. The arrival of new standards and regulations, the development of new solutions and inter material competition trends will shape the future of the industry.
Higher social awareness about sustainability issues is driving investment towards green/greener solutions. According to voices in the industry, plastic pipes offer a lower environmental impact than alternative materials and because of this, this industry is expected to also play a crucial role in this new global movement despite pipes’ long life in service. Further to this, governments in Europe are targeting water leakage to ensure water efficiency by investing resources into identifying and repairing pipe leaks.
Today, the European plastic pipes industry faces a mixture of challenges and opportunities and the companies that achieve a more accurate understanding of the trends and align their efforts, resources and product mix accordingly are more likely to be successful in this market.
The updated edition of the Pressure Pipes Europe report analyses the market trends in-depth and presents them in an easily digestible format. The report thus constitutes an invaluable tool, aimed at helping companies make informed decisions.