Mega-trends associated with population growth and the need for ‘more of everything’ are driving the opportunity for nickel. With rapid urbanisation, and massive migrations of people, particularly in Asia, demand is rising for more housing, more energy and transport, more food and more clean water – all of which have to be delivered in sustainable ways. And the properties of nickel are excellent for assisting with these needs.
But the nickel sector also faces headwinds in reaching its true potential. The environment in which specification occurs is evolving, and like all topics, even discussions on social media play a role. Nickel also faces competition. It can be substituted for other materials and faces barriers to entry while standards and approvals are developing. Often specifiers are unaware of the benefits of nickel-containing materials. And in some cases, there is a need to establish a supply chain for innovative nickel-containing applications.