Water and wastewater treatment: on your marks, get set . . .
The ongoing pursuit of reducing running costs and guaranteeing an optimal quality/quantity ratio has led industrial end-users to increase installations of technologically-advanced equipment for the treatment of water utilised in on-site processes.
A series of new studies by international consultancy Frost & Sullivan claim
that the European market for water and wastewater treatment equipment is set to
jump in response to intensifying demand amongst industrial end-users.
Demineralisation and activated carbon have advanced to become fairly established
process water treatment methods. Relatively new techniques such as membranes,
UV and ozonation are expected to enjoy prolonged strong growth in this sector
up to and beyond the forecast period.
In its review of national markets, the studies confirm Germany’s continued dominance
in the European water sector. However, over the forecast period, the German
share of the overall market is expected to decline due to the nation’s increasing
saturation of process equipment market.
The UK follows in second position, predicted to exhibit the most impressive
growth over the forecast period.
The pulp and paper sector ranks amongst the leading industrial end-users for
water and wastewater treatment technologies. According to the new reports, high
process water volumes and increasing environmental considerations are the principal
forces strengthening the market.
The studies identify three crucial drivers behind the buoyancy of on-site water
and wastewater treatment demand: wastewater legislation; substantial wastewater
pollution levels coupled with high effluent volumes; and the growing interest
in process efficiencies.
Sales of water and wastewater treatment equipment to the European pulp and paper
industry are projected to grow from $260.3m in 2001 to $314.1m by 2007. On-site
recycling also provides a significant part of the water intake in the pulp and
paper mills. Already, the reports claim, 73.8 per cent of customers have implemented
on-site recycling facilities in an effort to achieve cost-efficiencies from
internal water loops.
Water and wastewater treatment equipment suppliers to the microelectronics industry
are in ebullient mood.
According to Frost & Sullivan, a recent decline in chip sales, tightening
competition and deteriorating business conditions will inevitably lead to weakened
demand and a more cautious purchasing approach amongst customers. However, continued
improvements in water recycling designed for the reduction of water consumption
levels and the need for replacements and upgrades to allow process efficiencies
will offset lacklustre business conditions.
Benefiting from the quality requirements of the burgeoning semiconductors market,
sales of water and wastewater treatment equipment to the European microelectronics
industry is forecast to grow. Saana Karki, Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan,
explains: “The purity of water used during the microelectronics manufacturing
process is of paramount importance. Also, safe wastewater discharge requirements
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