INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Missing or inadequate roads, means of transportation, water and energy supplies are an impediment to economic development, especially in developing and emerging economies. But it is not only in these parts of the world that there is a large gap between demand and actual investment in sustainable infrastructure.
According to estimates from the McKinsey Global Institute, the world needs to invest an average of $3.3 trillion annually just to support the predicted rates of growth by 2030. But at present, only $2.5 trillion are being spent annually for transportation, energy, water, and telecommunications. (All data: McKinsey Global Institute: Bridging global infrastructure gaps, 2016). Since most of the corresponding infrastructure measures is funded by governments, national debt throughout the world is becoming more of a problem.
Rising sea levels and extreme weather events resulting from climate change go hand in hand with increased resilience demands for industry and infrastructure. As an speciality chemicals company, Evonik is affected doubly by these developments. On the one hand, because all industrial production relies on efficient infrastructure. And, on the other hand, because, with our products and solutions, we are ourselves delivering important building blocks for the infrastructure requirements of the future.
Take undersea pipelines as an example. They have to be protected on the inside and outside. Against corrosion damage from seawater and also against stress from the materials being transported through them – oil, gas, or water. Polyamide 12 polymers from Evonik that were developed especially for use in oil and gas pipes make a contribution in this respect. In the area of building protection, silanes give the structures a level of durability that was inconceivable in the past. Over the entire life cycle, this saves considerable resources for maintaining buildings, bridges, and other structures. Noise barriers made from PLEXIGLAS® also help considerably to improve the quality of life in urban areas: effective, durable, and on top of that, they can also be recycled.