Spain reigns in the desalination market

DEMAND FOR fresh water is increasing around the world, especially in regions with rapidly growing populations and badly affected by long, drought seasons, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan.

As a result, said the company, governments are turning to desalination and investing in this technology to ensure water supply.

These factors are driving the desalination market, which is showing a strong growth.

The focus is particularly high in the Mediterranean region. Frost & Sullivan has been looking at this sector with particular interest, and plans to publish a comprehensive study on the Spanish water market with trends, challenges and opportunities.

Frost & Sullivan analyst Nuno Oscar Branco, who has been researching the market and conducting extensive interviews with market participants, explained: "Spain is the largest desalination market in the Mediterranean region, but countries such as Algeria, Morocco or Libya, to name just a few, have joined the desalination bandwagon and are investing heavily on this source of fresh drinking water."

Spain, which built its first desalinisation plant in 1965, was one of the first countries in the Mediterranean region to consider desalination as a viable solution to solving water shortage issues in large urban areas.

"Spain is close to reaching the peak of its desalination programme and is on the forefront of the desalination markets, leading the way in employing new technologies and plant design," said Branco.

Spain has an estimated investment plan of about £3.3B (US$5.5B) until 2015 in desalinisation treatment plants in an effort to increase the production capacity of fresh water by 1,100hm3 annually.

At a time when the construction market is in trouble, investments by the Spanish government in the water infrastructure is proving to be a good opportunity for construction companies, project engineering firms and technology providers.
"The Spanish desalination market still offers opportunities for local and international companies that have expertise especially in key areas of energy efficiency as well as process and operation optimisation," said Branco.

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