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Present and Projected Markets for HDPE Pipe in Scandinavia [PE]


Plastic Pipes Conference Association # 1979 Brigthon


Scandinavia consists of Sweden,Norway and Denmark but in this paper Finland will be included also; giving a geographical block termed the Nordic countries.

Together the Nordic countries have a population of 22 millions. Their per capita consumption for high density polyethylene materials for pipe is the highest in the world.

The reasons for the present high usage and the projected markets for HDPE pipe will be discussed in the paper.

The major reasons for the high usage of HDPE (high density polyethylene) pipe are the following: The overall consumption of plastic materials has been high and hence outlets for them have been more fully exploited than in many other countries.
The construction of buildings has been high over the period 1965 ~ 1975 requiring large tonnages of pipes for water and sewage systems.
The population is widely spread over the countries, wages and standard of living are high thus savings on installation that can be obtained by proper usage of plastic pipes have been fully exploited.
Plastic pipes are much lighter to handle than metal- or concrete pipes resulting in saving on transport and installation.
HDPE pipes can withstand very low temperatures during handling and installation (i.e. compared with PVC pipes) and therefore installation can take place in the Nordic countries during winter when sub-zero temperatures are normally experienced.
HDPE pipes are aiso very resistant to corrosive chemicals and hence can be used for transportation of these materials or installation in grounds which are significantly acidic or alkaline without fear of chemical attack.
The demand for HDPE pipes resulted in a lot of development work being carried out for cheapening of the actual pipe and producing economic and convenient fittings.
The terrain of most Scandinavian countries includes a network of lakes. It is easier and cheaper to instal] plastic pipes across these lakes rather than to install a network along the perimeter of these water expances.
The Scandinavian terrain in general consists of a very rocky base with little soil depths in many places. Thus it has proved more easy and economical to install plastic pipes than metal equivalents.
With limited areas for arable agriculture it is essential that all suitable land is cropped intensively and the development and usage of HDPE pipes for irrigation and drainage has been highly mechanized.
As in most countries the sewage systems are reaching a state where major maintenance is essential and the use of HDPE liners for this application is consuming a significant tonnage of plastic pipes.
Energy conservation. Again, like most other highly developed countries, Scandinavia has been in the forefront in looking for means of saving energy. They have installed many complex district heating systems and use an HDPE sheath to protect the insulated pipe.
New developments are under way and in some cases have reached commercial tonnage Tor the use of modified HDPE pipes for relatively high temperature distribution of water and corrosive chemicals Having summarized the reasons for the high usage of HDPE pipes; the total market and usage for individual outlets will now be dealt with in more detail and the talk will be completed by a look into new developments which could increase the market for HDPE pipes in the future.

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