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.


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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.

Treatment methods

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.

Electronics

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.

Quality requirements

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

are intensifying.”

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