In 2021, a systematic recovery of the roadworks market could be observed after the downtime caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the quarantine introduced in early 2020. The pandemic did not stop work on construction sites, but affected the various segments of the market in different ways. The implementation of major public investments and road infrastructure construction programmes continues to play a key role for the development of the sector.
One of the most significant decisions for the market that were taken in 2021 was the announcement on 9 August 2021 of a new government programme for the construction of national roads until 2030. (with an outlook until 2033), which is a continuation of the previous National Roads Construction Programme for 2014-2023 (with an outlook until 2025). Under the aforementioned programme, the motorway and expressway network in Poland is to be completed. In total, all planned road investments are to provide Poland with around 8,000 km of new roads across the country. It is planned to allocate around PLN 290 billion for this purpose. The programme is to be supplemented by a programme for the construction of 100 bypasses, under which another 850 km of roads are to be built.
The Polish construction sector remains a very fragmented market with slow consolidation. As a result, the five largest construction groups – Budimex, Strabag, Porr, Erbud and Unibep – account for 8.2% of the value of the entire construction market and 12.2% of revenues of construction companies with more than nine employees.
In addition to the rapidly rising prices of construction materials and labour shortages, the construction industry is faced with regulations related to ESG aspects and upcoming regulatory changes. As the construction and real estate sector is responsible for a significant share of global greenhouse gas emissions, the entities have been obliged to reduce them. This process requires a significant transformation of the construction process and specific decarbonisation measures. Investment in modern technologies that minimise the environmental footprint and increase the efficiency of the construction process through, among other things, the use and re-cycling of appropriate materials, changes in technology and the construction process itself, can be key. Under pressure from national and European regulations such as the EU taxonomy and the forthcoming CSRD, project developers are already incorporating the above issues into their specifications. Their aim is to redirect capital flows towards so-called “green investments”. One of the growing trends is modular construction, to which more and more companies are becoming convinced. This technology allows not only to reduce time, but also to act in accordance with the circular economy, which favours the decarbonisation process and the reduction of the carbon footprint generated both during the construction of buildings and their use.
As in previous years, domestic producers provided more than 80% of the supply of bitumen products. The remaining part was imported, mainly from Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary. It is estimated that last year the demand for bitumen products was at the level of 1.1/1.2 million tonnes. Production of bitumen products at most local refineries proceeded without major disruptions.
The portfolio of major bitumen products remained unchanged and includes: road bitumen, PMB polymer modified bitumen and industrial bitumen.
Trade organisations and institutions:
Ministry of Infrastructure of the Republic of Poland
General Directorate for National Roads and Highways
Polish Asphalt Pavement Association
Polish Economic Road Association”