Glenn Darley
Regional Sales Director for Tube Division, China & Marketing Manager for Tube APAC, Alleima

In 2022, the global stainless steel market reached a value of close to USD 143.5 billion. The industry is expected to reach a value of nearly USD 212.95 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.8% in the forecast period of 2023-2028.1

Notably, China has emerged as a key player – The country accounts for 50%-55% of the global stainless steel market share, and it is expected to grow in the coming years.1 Additionally, in 2020 alone, China’s stainless-steel market increased its production to over 1,600 kilotons.2 This can be attributed to elements such as the increased consumption of chemical/petrochemical products, medical products, energy, consumer goods, and transportation.

With positive growth prospects comes the potential increase in challenges. And these are not new, just magnified – for the past few years, industries have been facing budget issues, increased quality and safety requirements, as well as the need to meet sustainability goals. The rising costs of materials, for instance, have imposed a significant burden on manufacturers and customers, and the issue is expected to be prolonged due to economic uncertainties. Therefore, it is important for the industry to identify long-term solutions that would effectively meet evolving needs while prioritizing cost-effectiveness, durability, safety, and supporting greater sustainability.

Advancing industries through materials technology

For over 160 years, Alleima has been forging strong partnerships with customers to advance processes and applications in demanding industries to enable efficiency, profitability, sustainability, and safety. In 1985, we established our first representation office in China, marking the beginning of our presence in the country. Since then, we have been continuously expanding our product portfolio to cater to the specific needs of the Chinese market. This has been possible due to our ongoing working relationships and the established understanding with customers that we will always be their progressive customer partner. From R&D to the final products, we enable our customers to find the best materials and solutions.

At Tube China 2023 in June, we were able to engage with some of our key customers and partners at our stand, discussing topics such as post-pandemic industry woes and emphasizing our commitment to partner with them to address challenges. Furthermore, we underscored our dedication to driving the sustainability agenda through the showcase of our latest advancements in materials development, such as our super-austenitic stainless steel alloy, the Sanicro® 35.

The Alleima way

Sanicro® 35 is a testament to our commitment to continuous innovation to meet industry demands. By bridging the gap between conventional steel grades and nickel alloys, Sanicro® 35 offers high yield strength and superior corrosion resistance, empowering more efficient and cost-effective operations.

What sets us apart is not only our expertise in material development but also our ability to transform it into tangible tubular products. We understand that exceptional material properties alone are not enough; the material must be effectively converted into functional tubes that meet our customers' specific requirements. We ensure that the material can be welded, seamlessly integrated into diverse process conditions, and is fully capable of fulfilling the demands of the application at hand. This specialized knowledge enables us to continually introduce new products that have undergone rigorous testing and are trusted by our partners.

This is especially important given the increasing need for industries to become more sustainability-focused.

Driving the sustainability agenda

Our focus on sustainability revolves around two key areas: our production methods, and the efficiency, sustainability and safety benefits our products offer customers.


Since the 1920s, we have prioritized designing our stainless steel and nickel-based products to be made from recyclable materials. As a result, 83% of our materials today are composed of them, and we are working towards hitting the 90% mark. This emphasis on recycled content resonates with customers seeking suppliers committed to sustainability and circularity, allowing them to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by minimizing reliance on virgin materials. Separately, our materials solutions, such as high-pressure tubes for hydrogen refueling stations and high-temperature tubes for concentrated solar power systems, support our customers' transition towards offering renewable products and services and meeting their sustainability ambitions.

As we continue to expand our product portfolio to cater to the specific needs of local markets such as China, sustainability plays a key part in our end-to-end processes. This starts from our state-of-the-art facility in Zhenjiang, China, which earned the prestigious Municipal Green Factory - Level 2 Province level certification and continues through the whole product lifecycle.