Global Geosynthetic Clay Liner Market is anticipated to witness considerable growth over the next seven years owing to rising awareness among various businesses in the mining and construction sector with respect to landfill management and protection. Geosynthetic clay liners are fabric-like materials utilized as linings to prevent seepage out of landfills. They act as a hydraulic barrier and incorporate two textile layers interconnected by bentonite clay, which is known to have low hydraulic conductivity.
Differentiating characteristics such as excellent self-sealing property and chemical resistance, in addition to low permeability, which is rarely available in the conventional bottom liners, are expected to augment growth in the foreseeable future.
Chemical performance encompasses adjacent material compatibility with the bentonite component, polymer stability & effectiveness, and the application normal load in addition to other chemical additives. Parameters including desiccation/rehydration effects are used to evaluate hydraulic properties in terms of the specific flux efficiency and hydraulic conductivity.
Demand for geosynthetic clay liners is expected to observe development on account of growing investments in infrastructural development in emerging nations including Middle East countries, India, and China. This can be primarily ascribed to supportive regulatory policies and initiatives undertaken by the government to improve on domestic output rate. Significant development of mining sector in Australia, China, Peru, and Chile due to increasing investment by mineral processors, namely BHP, is expected to propel utilization of geosynthetic materials in containment and landfill applications.
Rising concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions coupled with growing importance of bio-based polymers are expected to result in increasing expenditures for raw material suppliers in order to develop new products including bio-polypropylene and bio-ethylene. However, clogging issues related to geotextiles, which contain geosynthetic clay liners, are likely to pose a threat to the market over the next seven years. Raw material constitutes over 60.0% of the variable cost of the product. Price volatility of crude oil indirectly impacts the cost of this material in commodity exchanges including New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
In 2014, landfill emerged as the largest application segment, with the global market share exceeding 40.0%, by volume. European Commission and EPA have introduced a strict framework outlining regulatory policies which are aimed at implementing regular disposal practices and waste management, primarily in the mining industry, in order to control environmental pollution. Hence, these regulations are anticipated to encourage the use of geosynthetic clay liners in landfill applications over the forecast period.
In terms of volume, wastewater management and containment treatment is likely to experience growth, at an estimated CAGR of 4.4% over the next seven years. Widespread use of geosynthetic clay liners in lining solution and liquid containment in industrial and municipal applications can be majorly attributed to low permeability and good shear resistance. Key areas where the product is used as a containment solution include golf course ponds, coal ash disposal facilities, recreational ponds and shale gas production.
Abundant availability of minerals in countries, namely, Australia and China coupled with the wide-ranging presence of mining companies in these regions is anticipated to play a critical role in escalating demand for geosynthetic clay liners. In 2014, Asia Pacific emerged as the largest market and constituted for more than 30.0% of the overall volume.
North America market was projected to reach over 30.0 million square meters by 2022. Additionally, Canada and U.S are anticipated to witness growth in demand for shale gas production on account of increasing expenditure towards hydraulic fracturing thereby propelling demand for waste water management.
In April 2014, the government of Mexico declared the National Infrastructure Plan for the duration of four years from 2014 to 2018 with an investment estimate of USD 587 billion. The government proclaimed an investment of USD 590 billion under the program towards infrastructural improvement, at a domestic level, in urban development, energy, transportation, healthcare, and communication. These plans are expected to make way for new growth opportunities in the market in the next few years.
In an effort to promote and support infrastructural development in countries including Tanzania and South Africa, the Union Commission of Africa framed the SADC Infrastructure Master Plan and the North-South Corridor in 2012. These improvements in Africa are anticipated to result in growing market penetration of the product primarily in the road and building erection over the forecast period.
The industry is identified by growing emphasis on geomembranes & geotextile and increasing applications in waste water management & soil reinforcement. Key strategies adopted by manufacturers include the establishment of partnerships and joint ventures with lining system installers and textile manufacturers.
Key companies include CETCO, GSE Holdings, Huesker, Climax, Terrafix, Layfield and Wall Tag. CETCO introduced a new product line of innovative clay liners in July 2014 called Resistex and Resistex Plus, servicing clients on a global scale. Implementation of lightweight and eco-friendly materials by devising innovations in the field is also anticipated to play a crucial success factor for market players.
Research Support Specialist, USA