Geomembranes are one of the fastest growing types in the geosynthetics market. They are manufactured from various materials such as HDPE, LDPE, PP, PVC, EPDM and others. Geomembranes find wide application in water management, waste management, mining, tunnel liners and others. Until now, waste management was the largest application for geomembranes, followed by mining, but taking into consideration the ever growing minerals requirement, mining applications will surpass the waste management application to some extent. Huge opportunities are expected from the mining applications market due to an increase in the demand of minerals and metals. Opportunities exist for metals such as gold, copper, nickel and others. As geomembranes are easy to manufacture, new players can easily enter the market. The prices are dependent on the prices of polypropylene and polyethylene, which are ever-rising, due to a high demand. Huge opportunities exist in markets of India and China where the respective governments have now started taking measures to protect the environment. Also, the majority of the geomembranes are imported by India and China, as there are a few players in these markets. The Asia Pacific countries are the potential markets for geomembranes for the waste and water management applications, while the Rest of World region is for mining applications.
Declining demand in waste management and mining applications, fluctuating raw materials prices, and weaker anticipated economic growth of China are expected to restrain the market during forecast period. However, the market players are finding new application areas for geomembranes to drive the growth of the market.
The global geomembrane market is expected to reach US$2.08 bln by 2022, according Grand View Research, Inc. Increasing expenditure for the implementation of waste and water management programs in countries such as India, China, Germany and Russia is expected to drive demand. Waste management is expected to witness growth at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2015 to 2022. It is used as a lining agent for preventing contamination of groundwater caused by leakage of landfills. In addition, it also minimizes wrinkles and provides stability on steep side slopes in landfill sites. Further key findings from the report suggest:
*Global demand was 780.9 mln square meters in 2014 and is expected to exceed 1,000 mln square meters by 2022.
*Demand for the product in water management exceeded 130 mln square meters in 2014. Increasing importance of leakage protection for storage reservoirs, ponds and golf courses is expected to promote the application of water management practices in municipal and manufacturing sectors.
*PVC is expected to witness growth at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2015 to 2022 in light of its properties such as high degree of flexibility; reduced expansion coefficient and excellent elongation percentage. They are widely used for lining canals for irrigation, landfill and pond liners to prevent seepage.
*Latin America market is likely to be valued at US$241.3 mln by 2022. In June 2013, the government of Brazil announced royalty increment on mineral production at a percentage from 2% to 4% for mining companies. This initiative is aimed at increasing the mining expenditure in Brazil and thus likely to open new markets over the forecast period.
*In April 2014, the government of Mexico announced the National Infrastructure Plan (2014-18) with an investment of US$587 bln over a period of four years for infrastructure improvement in energy, urban development, transportation, communication and healthcare sectors at domestic level. North America geomembrane market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.4% from 2015 to 2022, in terms of volume.
*MEA market is expected to account for 5.6% of the global volume by 2022. Middle East is expected to emerge as a lucrative market for construction in light of supportive regulations to boost manufacturing output of automotive, petrochemicals, and pharmaceutical sectors at domestic level. Governments of Middle East countries have prioritized infrastructure improvement as a part of reducing economical reliance on upstream sectors.
*Majority of the market players have established their units in North America and Europe in light of high prevalence of suppliers of extrusion and calendaring machines in the regions. Key market players include CETCO, GSE Holdings, Bridgestone America, Nilex, Solmax International Inc. and NAUE.
The geomembranes market is projected to witness a CAGR of 10.9% between 2015 and 2020 to reach a market size of US$3.26 bln by 2020, as per RnR Market Research. The growth of the market is attributed to stringent environmental regulation on water and waste management and also the growing applicability in roadways construction, oil & gas industry, canal linings, and others. Extrusion is the most-widely used method for manufacturing of geomembranes. It is widely used for the fabrication of HDPE geomembranes. Extrusion is a cost effective process and is adopted to manufacture geomembranes with raw material such as chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene, and polypropylene PP. Large number of waste and water management projects use HDPE geomembranes that can be manufactured in varied thickness for diverse applications. The favorable properties of HDPE coupled with easy availability and relatively low cost of the material make these cost-effective for applications in large projects. On the other hand, PVC, polypropylene, butyl rubber, and ethylene inter polymer alloy (EIA) geomembranes are projected to witness the highest CAGRs in the market during the forecast period.
The increasing necessity to conserve fresh water sources and prevent water pollution is expected to increase the demand for geomembranes significantly. Other applications such as irrigation canals, decorative ponds, floating baffles, and so on are also expected to increase the demand for geomembranes in the water management application segment during the forecast period. Growth is attributed to the stringent regulations on water and waste management and the growing applicability of geomembranes in roadways construction, oil & gas sector, canal linings, and others. HDPE is projected to remain as the dominant material used in the manufacturing geomembranes during the forecast period. The market players use HDPE on a large scale as it is cost-effective in nature. Raw materials such as PVC, polypropylene, butyl rubber, and ethylene interpolymer alloy monomer (EIA) are projected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The geomembranes market in the water management application is projected to witness the highest CAGR between 2015 and 2020. The rising necessity for conservation of fresh water sources and preventing high water pollution levels is expected to increase demand. The use of geomembranes in irrigation canals, dams, ponds, and others is expected to drive the growth of the market during the forecast period. The market in North America is well-established. Stringent environmental regulations and favorable economic conditions are responsible for the dominance of the global market by North America. The U.S. accounts for the largest market share of the region’s market, while Canada and Mexico are projected to witness higher growth in during the forecast period. Expansion was the major growth strategy adopted by the market players between 2011 and 2016 to enhance their regional footprint and meet the growing demand in emerging economies. The RoW market comprising the Middle East, Africa, and others are projected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Roadways construction, oil & gas operation, and water management activities in the Middle East are driving the growth of the market in the region. The applicability of geomembranes in mining and oil & gas operations is expected to drive the market in Latin America. The Asia-Pacific market is projected to witness the second-highest CAGR.