Robert Lawrence, Mohana Murali
Papers # 2018 Las-Vegas
The paper covers the growth of the polyethylene pipe sector in the Middle East from the 90s to the present. The initial slow uptake was related to ignorance of the material properties from the end users through to designers and installers. Recently the Middle East has become a world leader in the use of ever larger diameters in solid wall and structured wall pipes. Similarly applications in environments previously regarded as hostile are becoming routine. Some important projects on the road from the early days are used to highlight the impressive progress made so far before some speculation on the future of polymers in the Middle East. The introduction of specialist polymers and material combinations is seen as particularly important
The Middle Eastern economy has grown multi-fold in the last two decades, thanks to proven natural resources and the vision of regional governments. Future forecasts also indicate considerable further growth owing to diversification and increased government spending on infrastructure and the industrial segment. The expected non-oil GDP growth of around 3.5% is a positive sign for business.
Even though PO pipes were introduced in the early 1990s, the real growth started in the early 2000s. Failure of conventional materials and ready availability of locally produced raw material have worked as catalysts for the growth of polyolefin pipe applications in water & gas, sewerage & drainage and the industrial & oil and gas sectors.
Consistent efforts to educate the value chain on better understanding the engineering of PO materials have led to improved design practices and specifications more suitable for the Middle East environment. We can therefore expect further market growth in the medium term.
However, with innovation in conventional materials, non-adherence to quality standards and ineffective implementation of quality surveillance systems, we may find further obstacles that hamper the anticipated growth of PO pipes in the region.