Celebrating the Unlimited Potential of the Plastic Pipes Industry
KRAH congratulates our Indian representative Ramesh Parasuraman of Allied Solutions on being elected as President of SOCIETY OF PLASTIC ENGINEERS, INDIA from 2021 to 2023. He was the Vice President from 2019 to 2021. We are sure that SPE India will attain new heights, with Ramesh now at the helm. KRAH has always been supporting SPE INDIA for their Conference in the past and have actively participated in the PLASTIC PIPE Conferences in 2015, 2017 and 2019. We are also looking forward to actively participating in their upcoming Plastic Pipes 2022 International Conference.
Celebrating the Unlimited Potential of Plastic Pipes Industry
Having all industry experts gather on a common platform to discuss the future of the plastic pipes industry, is indeed a landmark occasion. Especially if the platform is one designed for knowledge sharing, receiving and mutually benefitting the plastic pipes industry. All this and more was witnessed at the last held Plastic Pipes 2019 conference organised by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) India. The Plastic Pipes 2019 conference held on 21st and 22nd November 2019 at Mumbai - in its third edition - proved to be a massive success. What made this conference unique is the fact that it welcomed industry stalwarts from across the globe to share knowledge about the future of the plastic pipes industry and how sustainable the industry at large can be made. This event was organised by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) India. Opening the two-day conference, Vijay Boolani, President, SPE India spoke about the inception of the plastic pipes industry (PPI) in India as well as globally and how far it has come. He shared:
“Historically, the world relied on materials like metal, concrete and clay; however, thanks to the technical innovation and rapid development by the stakeholders, plastics too have become a material of choice and sees application in sewage systems, oil and gas industry, chemicals, clean water and many more areas.”
Further talking about the growing plastics market trends globally, Vijay Boolani shared that North America alone is one of leading trend accelerators in the plastics industry. As an economy, the United States of America itself plays a key role as the world’s largest market. Therefore, any change in demand and trends here cannot be ignored. “Closely following North America is APAC, in which China is closely followed by India. And in the times to come, will occupy more markets than before, by clocking impressive growth by 2023,” Vijay Boolani said, sharing his projections. Vijay Boolani also mentioned that research suggests that oil and gas innovation in these markets is bound to lead the market for PPI. While the European market will attain a healthy compounded growth rate of 5.18% during 2019 - 2023, it is said that the Indian market for PVC, in terms of CAGR will grow over 14% till 2025. “All these changes are a chain-reaction to the favourable government policies, infrastructural growth, investments, rapid industrialisation and booming urbanisation in these geographies.”
Further leading the discussion on the roadmap for PPI and its last five decades in MENA and South Asia, Robert J. Lawrence, CEO, ProjAC shared, “The last 5 decades have been exciting for the industry and have laid a strong foundation for our next decades to come. Companies in the Middle East have taken chances and earned from their risks. All thanks to them and their innovative hats, two decades down we have a catalogue of firsts. We have giant offshore pipelines and have huge large diameter horizontal directional drilling poles. We have, as an industry, seen such rapid growth. When we did our market research 5 decades ago, plastics were projected at 2 - 5% of the market; however, we now stand at 35%.”
Yet, he emphasised, that the industry still needs to work on a consistent regional approach and clean the industry specifications and ensure that the quality controls remain to be the key to businesses. Also present at the conference, Dr. Brian G. Landes, President, SPE Global shared his views on forming the sustainable future for plastics. He questioned the industry players on their innovation and end-results. He asked, “While innovation is key to the plastics industry, and we believe we are doing a good job there, we are questioned on how much our industry is changing for the societal impact?” He further shared that all one hears is that plastics are a threat for our planet, never hear how it changes ones’ lifestyle and, “Thus, it’s important that we, as an industry, have this conversation within ourselves and with our communities and make them understand how we can change a few things amongst ourselves to be more successful. We have to share the positive impacts of the industry and make people understand them too. What we need is a perspective change and that needs to come in quick.” Closing the two-day conference, Patrick Farrey, CEO, SPE USA shared his take on how SPE India, as part of SPE Global, is trying to build a bridge within the industry for a better future. He shared, “SPE Global is spread across the globe, has over 22,000 members worldwide. We are a global society with stakeholders across the value chain. We are a diverse organisation, but have a commonality that we all work in the plastics business. Our forte has been organising seminars and technical conferences, in addition to journals and reports that add value to members and industry, at large. Our content is turned into educational content for market awareness.” Further highlighting on SPE, he mentioned, what SPE takes pride the most in is the fact that seminars like such help companies to create business opportunities at this common accessible platform - creating a win-win opportunity for all. This event later culminated into an industry connect platform with Rajendra Pawar, Secretary, Water Resources Department addressing the gathering on the status and prospects of irrigation projects in Maharashtra and the role of plastic pipes. Also giving their insights at the conference were Murali Adhyatmabhattar, Technical Business Development Manager, United Special Services LLC who shared his knowledge on innovative, high-performance internal lining solutions while Dr. Niranjan Swarup, Director General, IndSTT spoke about converting pipe dreams to dream pipes in trenchless applications.
Also present at the conference was Dr. Purnima Jalihal, Sc G and Head, Energy and FreshWater, NIOT who spoke on HDPE pipes in innovative configurations for ocean thermal desalination. All this and more made this event a wholesome learning experience for all. It’s noteworthy to mention here that the event would not have achieved such resounding success had it not been for the efforts and guidance of Ramesh Parasuraman, Vice President SPE India and Rajiv Sanghavi, International Counsellor, SPE India. SPE India is looking forward to welcoming all the delegates and speakers to the Plastic Pipes 2022 conference, at Mumbai. After the success of Plastic Pipes 2015, 2017 and 2019 conferences, this is the fourth Plastic Pipe conference organised by SPE India. As usual, presentations from eminent speakers and industry leaders on subjects ranging from technology for laying of pipes, standards, emerging segments, processing know-how and advancements in machines, additives and raw materials etc have been planned in this conference. The demand for potable and irrigation water, sewerage and drainage networks, gas distribution etc has never been greater.
At present only about 35% of urban households have piped water supply whereas the households consume only 10% of water and agriculture consumes over 70 % of the available water. Only about 2% of our urban areas have both sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants which clearly shows how important is the water supply infrastructure in the “New India”. Besides that, over 40% of existing piped water is simply lost due to rusting of old pipe lines. Plastic Pipes play a very crucial role here and have a bright future and prospects. Since the Introduction of Plastic Pipes over five decades ago, Plastic Pipes have become the material of choice for nearly all applications ranging from the Water supply, Sewerage and Drainage, Agriculture, Plumbing and Sanitary, Communication and Ducting, Industrial, Irrigation Systems, Offshore and even Oil and Gas. With improvement in the production and processing techniques, use and its applications over the years, it has been proved beyond doubt that they are the most superior material for a wide range of installations across the above segments due to its inherent properties, superb corrosion and chemical resistance, greater logistical and installation cost advantage, stronger, tighter, leak-proof and self restraining joints, zero maintenance etc. The other added advantages are alternative installation methods (no-dig for example) which can save considerable time and money in many applications, particularly rehabilitation of pipelines etc due to its light weight and easier on site handling. For example, PE is about one eighth of the density of steel, so it does not require the use of heavy lifting equipment for jointing and installation. Above all, most of the Plastic Pipes have better sustainability credentials with the environment in mind as the Plastic Pipes require less energy in production than alternative material. Even at the end of their useful life, Plastic Pipes can be easily recycled. All these combined advantages, coupled with potentially long service life (of over 50 years) leads to further cost advantages in the long term. The whole life cycle cost, in which all the costs associated with a pipeline throughout its lifecycle, from material cost to installation and maintenance, even on the most conservative estimates, have found that installed costs get reduced by as much as 70% and the whole life cost by over 45%, apart from savings in carbon footprint.
Today, with the rapid pace of urbanization, by the year 2050 over 70% of the population would have moved to urban locations and there will be 600 million more Indians who will demand their share of water and food, but by then, the per capita availability of water is projected to fall to dangerous levels, from the present 1545 cubic meters. Even now, about 220 million Indians have access to less than the minimum level of 1000 cubic meters, indicating severe stress. Various learnings from different missions set up by the government have shown that infrastructure creation should have a direct impact on the basic and real needs of people, primary amongst that is to provide clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to the citizens. Providing these basic services to households and building amenities in cities and generally improving the infrastructure facilities which will improve the quality of life for all is a national priority today and is being implemented with the required zeal. An estimate of funds required over 20 years at 2010 prices was made by a high power committee set up by the government which estimated that over Rs 39.20 Lakh Crore was required for creation of urban infrastructure, which includes Rs 17.30 Lakh Crores for urban roads and over Rs 8.00 Lakh Crores for services such as water supply, sewerage, solid waste management and stormwater drains. Besides this, the requirement for O&M was separately estimated to be Rs 19.90 Lakh Crore. To facilitate this, AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), NRDWP ( National rural drinking water Programme), Namami Gange, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, has been launched in which five hundred cities will be taken up initially and the focus will be on water supply, sewerage facilities, stormwater drains etc apart from providing other amenities for transport and recreation.
In addition to this, the Smart City Mission proposes support to the extent of Rs 48,000 crores for 100 cities on an average of Rs 100 crores per city per year to which an equal amount will be matched by the state governments and nearly Rs One Lakh Crore will be available for smart cities development. The consolidation of demand for pipes in agriculture and micro-irrigation schemes will add further volumes to the demand and holds tremendous potential. The government has committed over Rs 3.5 Trillion to be spent under the ambitious Jal Jeevan Mission, aimed at providing potable water. A new ministry Jal Shakti has been formed to address all the water issues, including management of water resources and drinking water supply in a holistic manner. The Jal Shakti ministry was formed by integrating the ministries of water resources and drinking water and sanitation and it aims to work with the state governments to ensure Har Ghar Jal to all rural households by 2024. A paradigm shift is being witnessed in the city gas distribution (CGD) sector where it presents an opportunity to give 7 out of 10 Indians living in 400 cities access to cleaner fuels. The coming years would see a massive jump in the PNG and CNG infrastructure with the laying of over One Lac KM polyethene pipelines attracting investment of 15 to 20 billion US Dollars.
The Plastic Pipe industry is growing @ 8% or more which is well above the GDP growth rate of 5 or 6% (unlike the projections) but has the potential to grow at double that rate, given the need of the hour and the impetus and resources being made available by the government and certainly holds promise not only for consolidation and expansion in the industry but also to have an all-round improvement in the quality and reliability aspect of both the product offering and associated services, apart from increasing productivity and reliability.
The Plastic Pipes industry will certainly be the beneficiary of all these upcoming and existing opportunities in the infrastructure segment by the government. SPE India had successfully organized the Plastic Pipe Conferences in 2015, 2017 and 2019 with all the above aspects in mind and with a clear intention to bring all the stakeholders in the entire value chain together to share and exchange knowledge, overcome the challenges and identify opportunities for growth.
Plastic Pipes 2022, will be organized in the middle of 2022, by SPE India will take it a step forward and continue to ensure sustained interaction between the stakeholders and look forward to active participation and support from the industry.
Krah Group &
Ramesh Parasuraman, Allied Solutions