Throughout 2017, demand for scarce clean water burgeoned, pushed by population booms and rapid urbanisation especially in Asia. Consequently, the water treatment equipment market grew, fuelled by the rising demand for clean water. But along with this growth came new ways of thinking, new technologies, and new strategies.
By Satyajit Shinde
The water treatment market has experienced a surge due to growing demand for clean water in the midst of water scarcity issues
With rapid urbanisation and population growth, the demand for water is only increasing. But with insufficient clean water for distribution and water scarcity an affliction that is spreading, concerns are also on the rise. Thus, water treatment equipment has become crucial and adoption is increasing worldwide.
After all, water treatment not only ensures that the water is safe for consumption, it also makes that that water discharged after treatment is environmentally-friendly.
According to a report on the water treatment equipment market by Allied Market Research, the market is likely to accrue a sum of US$87 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 per cent between 2016 and 2022.
Market growth is not only attributed to the stringent regulations about wastewater and sludge disposal, but also increasing demand for water treatment in municipalities and industries. However, the high costs associated with the installation and operation of water treatment systems plays a role in impeding maturation of the market.
Prominent players operating in the market include Veolia Environment SA, Hyflux Ltd., Xylem Inc., Pentair PLC, Degremont Group, GE Power, and VA Tech Wabag, all subscribing to a wide range of business strategies such as acquisitions, joint ventures, collaborations, and product launches to widen their reach and increase market share.
For example, in January 2017, Kurita Water Industries, a water treatment chemicals and facilities provider, acquired Fremont Industries, another water treatment solutions provider.
March saw AquiSense launch a UV water treatment system, claimed to be the smallest in the world.
Just a few months later in July, GE introduced a novel technology for water treatment in the production of beverages. In that same month, Packaged Metering & Pumping Solutions unveiled its plans to launch a water treatment unit in South Africa.
September witnessed SUEZ, a French company, finalise its acquisition of GE Water and Process Technologies, a water treatment systems and technology provider.
Kurita Water and Fremont Industries
With expanding its presence in the United States (U.S.) in mind, Kurita Water Industries, headquartered in Japan, bought over Fremont Industries, a water treatment solutions company based in Minnesota, U.S., for an estimated US$40 million.
Kurita had acquired Fremont for its customer base and sales network, especially as the company wanted to accelerate its products sales and develop new markets with plans to establish a global business network covering regions such as Asia, Europe, as well as North and South America.
AquiSense debuted UV water treatment system
AquiSense Technologies, a company based in the U.S., launched three new UV-C LED validated water disinfection platforms including the PearlAqua Micro, the PearlAqua, and the PearlAqua OEM product platforms in 2017.
Products of ground-breaking research and engineering refinement, the platforms are considered game-changing products that employ state-of-the-art LEDs.
The PearlAqua Micro, said to be the world’s smallest ultraviolet water treatment system, serves the company’s goal of meeting the growing demand for enhanced protection against waterborne pathogens. On the other hand, the PearlAqua range is a UV treatment system that provides great environmental robustness, as well as ease of operation.
The PearlAqua OEM platform, however, opens the door to low-cost UV disinfection and is specifically designed to fit into third-party devices and systems. It features easy-to-replace UV-C LED lamp module and configurable options, including forced air cooling, onboard data logging, and digital I/O for device functionality.
GE’s new technology
GE Water & Process Technologies, also based in the U.S., recently launched BEVPAK, a new ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) solution for water treatment in the production of beverages. Specially designed to process poor quality water by removing particulates, microorganisms, and total dissolved solids (TDS), the new technology also reduces the carbon footprint and lowers costs.
The BEVPAK features a multibarrier process with NSF-certified membrane elements to meet required product specifications; ultrafiltration technology that improves reliability and increases the RO system uptime; as well as internet connectivity that allows remote monitoring, alongside many other benefits.
PIMPS plans to launch water treatment plant
Packaged Metering & Pumping Solutions (PIMPS) recently revealed plans to launch an Italian OBL Polisol automatic polymer preparation plant in South Africa. Developed for treating water and wastewater, the plant is expected to produce better water in terms of quality yield.
According to the company, the system is used in treatment plants to help aggregate small, suspended particles to form a floc for filtering, or settling out, and if the system proves to be a success, PIMPS will consider having the products manufactured locally, which will have a positive effect in terms of employment creation and skill development.
SUEZ acquires GE Water & Process Technologies
SUEZ, a water treatment firm based in France, recently finalised its acquisition of GE Water & Process Technologies for US$3.4 billion. Now, the company operates as SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions, and continues to provide solutions about water and wastewater treatment.
But by obtaining GE’s technical know-how, SUEZ has the advantage of knowledge and a wider skill set to bring innovation as well as value-add to customers around the world. With a huge workforce, the combined firm aims to address the global challenges such as water scarcity, preservation of resources, and climate changes.
In essence, adopting different business strategies is proving to be vital for the growth of the water treatment equipment market. After all, it helps the market maximise profits while also enhancing competitiveness in the marketplace.