Foundation for the future


Investing in infrastructure
Investing in infrastructure

Whether the challenge is urbanisation, increases in population or global warming, all countries rich and poor need to invest in their infrastructure.

From European projects to expand high-speed rail networks to Brazilian investments ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, most developed countries have major investments in infrastructure high on their list of priorities. In many developing nations, large infrastructure projects such as the construction of ports, sewage and water systems are seen as essential for future economic success, while in the industrialised world it is often a case of repairing and rehabilitating existing infrastructure.

“With the growth of economies and population, the need for improved infrastructure continues to increase,” says Ruud Bokhout, Business Development Director Trelleborg Infrastructure, the global leader in seals for immersed tunnels.

“In developed countries major infrastructure projects are used to kick-start the economy, while developing countries have to invest in infrastructure to accommodate their growth.”

The dredging industry, to which Trelleborg supplies hoses and seals, has come to life following the downturn with numerous new port expansion plans under way around the world. Many of these are taking place in China and India, but one of the biggest ventures is the expansion of the Panama Canal to allow for more and larger ships.

Access to clean water is recognised as a major challenge for the planet, and large water infrastructure investments are under way around the world. Singapore is currently working to improve its water and wastewater system to make the island self-sufficient in water.

While Singapore can afford to continue with its investment, global economic uncertainty means that some infrastructure improvement projects have been put on hold.

“In the short term, the economic environment for companies in this sector is not so favorable, but in the long term this is a profitable line of business, as a lot of money will need to be spent on sewage and water systems,” says Hagenberg.

“It is known that sewage and water systems in the U.S. and Europe are very old and in need of refurbishment. That could be either with new pipe systems or by repairing, and we are in both lines of business.”
In the U.S., cities such as Seattle and Denver are pushing ahead with their own local infrastructure projects, while many national projects lack financing.

Dredging it up
The dredging industry demands higher efficiency and bigger capacities as the scale of reclamation and dredging work becomes larger. Dredging hoses can be as high as a house or as long as the average street. They can be vulcanised up to four meters in diameter and 30 meters in length in materials that withstand even the harshest of media.

A new range of tracks
One of the latest additions to Trelleborg’s offerings to the construction industry is the CRT-800 rubber track range – a complete range of tracks suited for mini-excavators, compact track loaders, dumpers, utility equipment, demolition machines and other industrial equipment.

“Our goal is to provide the various industries and markets we operate in with premium products that help reduce downtime and provide the best total cost per hour,” says Ydo Doornbos, Managing Director of Trelleborg Wheel Systems Americas.

A most essential system
In castles, the garderobe, a primitive toilet that ended in the castle moat, proved an efficient means of dealing with human waste. With urbanisation this became more difficult. If you walked the streets of London, England, in medieval times, you lived in fear of wastewater and worse landing on your head. The health risks of open sewers were apparent from frequent cholera outbreaks. So in the 19th century we saw the beginning of municipal sewage systems.

Amazingly, the original sewage systems of many cities, like the storm sewers of New York City, still form the backbone of modern infrastructure. With many systems now more than 150 years old, maintenance, repair and development are a challenge. Advanced rehabilitation techniques and products are required to cost-effectively maintain a service we take for granted with every flush.

Made in China
On May 30, 2011, the first 300-ton electric wheel dump truck designed and manufactured by Xiangdian Heavy Equipment rolled off the production line, making the company a pioneer in China for producing large-tonnage dump trucks.

China has imported more than 200 large-tonnage dump trucks to support its economic development, and demand will continue to grow. Besides consolidating its leading position in the domestic dump truck market, Xiangdian Heavy Equipment is also opening up new markets overseas.

The world is expected to spend USD 40 trillion on infrastructure projects over the next 25 years, according to the Cohen & Steers Global Infrastructure Report:

Water -  USD 22.6 trillion (USD 9 trillion in Asia, USD 5 trillion in Latin America)

Electricity -  USD 9 trillion (USD 4.2 trillion in Asia, USD 1.5 trillion in North America)

Road and Rail -  USD 7.8 trillion (USD 3.1 trillion in Europe, USD 2.1 trillion in Asia)

Airports and Seaports - USD 1.6 trillion, (USD 0.5 trillion in Asia)
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This edition

Issue 29


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