Brownfield development boosts land remediation markets

Reuse of brownfield sites is swelling revenues in the European contaminated site remediation services market, according to a new survey by Frost & Sullivan.

The contaminated site remediation services market, worth US$1.02 billion in 1998, is set to grow by around 50% to US$1.62 billion by 2005, says the report.

The use of traditional technology tends to dominate the market and the low price for excavation and landfilling of soil continues to restrain the market for alternative treatment methods.

However, a number of recent developments are set to change this situation, reports Louise Pitts, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. Increasing prices for landfill and future restrictions on the organic content of waste going to landfill are expected to stimulate the market for other treatment services. In addition, new legislation relating to the use of soil as a secondary raw material, which ties into the European Waste Hierarchy, is anticipated to drive the site remediation services market.

In future years, F&S expect the market to be characterised by low prices and market consolidation as a result of acquisition and merger strategies. Pitts adds: “We anticipate increased demand for more new technology to deal with specific pockets of contamination such as chlorinated solvents, heavy metals and military residues.”

Market growth is expected to be driven by a number of developments including a concerted European initiative to reuse brownfield sites, improvements in the identification of contaminated sites, the Concerted Action for Participating Initiatives (CLARINET), CARACAS, and a number of research and funding programmes.

A number of countries and regions in Western Europe

are actively encouraging development of brownfield sites through financial incentives. These include Germany, the UK and Ireland, and Scandinavia.

The F&S study identifies a number of further factors pushing revenue growth over the forecast period, including the reuse of soil as a secondary raw material, co-operation with industry groups, the EU adoption of groundwater plans and proposed town planning harmonisation regulations.

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