The decrease in demand for PP-pipes led to lower cost extrusion equipment
In 2017, in the European market, metal-plastic pipes in terms of consumption reached the level of copper pipes, which dominated in Europe for many years. Judging by the forecast KWD-globalpipe (Germany), in the coming years, plastic pipes will become the new leaders of the European market, write NGO “Extrusion machines”.
The volume of consumption of polypropylene pipes from 14% of the market in 2002 decreased in 2017 to 1.3%, the market is in last place below the level of consumption of stainless steel and polybutene pipes.
The reasons for the falling consumption of PP pipes there are several, but the main ones were the competition pipes on the basis of more durable polymers and the toughening of European laws of energy conservation.
Energy saving is the main global trend. In the segment of heating systems, this is reflected in the transition from radiator heating systems to Underfloor heating systems, and a more modern system of surface heating and cooling. Such systems save from 40 to 80% of the energy spent on heating and air conditioning, and reduce capital costs by 5-10%.
The principal difference between energy-efficient heating systems from traditional radiator is that the pipes in these systems are not a means of transporting the coolant, and heat exchange coils. Accordingly, one of the fundamental requirements for modern pipes has become flexibility. The lack of flexibility has closed polypropylene pipes access to the European market.
Over the past decade, the Russian market of heating and water supply pipes has changed dramatically. The decades-old domination of steel pipes ended. The decline in steel pipe consumption is on average 11% per year.
McKinsey Global Institute experts predict that most (not including China) residential buildings will be built in Russia, while by 2025 the length of new in-house pipelines will increase by 4 billion meters.
In the structure of consumption are leading polypropylene pipes-43%, and multilayer pipes (plastic pipes and pipes with EVOH barrier layer) — 31%.
In the Russian market there was a paradoxical situation: when the leaders were the most short-lived pipes, and, in radiator heating systems, polypropylene pipes lose to all other pipes in heat resistance.
Oddly enough, but the main reason was the European energy conservation laws. The decline in demand for polypropylene pipes in Europe led to a decrease in the cost of extrusion equipment for their production, and much cheaper equipment rushed to the Russian market, which is susceptible to cheapness. And our Chinese comrades, ready to sell the equipment at the price of scrap metal did not stand aside. Currently, the equipment for the production of polypropylene pipes is the cheapest extrusion equipment.
Of course there are more reasons — it is a complex of subjective and objective factors of intensive development of the polymer industry in Russia. But even now, housing engineers and polymer market experts are sounding the alarm: the high share of polypropylene pipes in the Russian housing sector in the coming years will lead to an avalanche-like increase in accidents.
This will lead to a serious redistribution of the market. Against the background of the growing attractiveness of investments in the production of multilayer pipes, new players with great ambitions and financial resources (including those who lost this market of metallurgists) will come to the market.