A wide array of technologies and companies seek to tap this market but only the ones that provide cost-effective solutions will win, says Lux Research.
Boston, MA – February 9, 2012 – The market for advanced municipal wastewater treatment represents a $27.8 billion market as cities the world over seek to either replace old or add new facilities to process an additional 4.3 billion gallons a day, according to a Lux Research report.
Of the projected capital expenditure in 2012, $22.3 billion is in the developed world and $5.2 billion is in the developing world. An overwhelming 94% of the internationally accessible market is made up of old facilities that need refit or replacement, according to the report, titled “Sizing Up Advanced Municipal Wastewater Treatment.”
“Solving the most pressing problems in wastewater treatment will require technologies that are not just effective, but also affordable to the rapidly growing market in the developing world,” said Brent Giles, Lux Research Senior Analyst and the author of the report. “With an ever-growing installed base, technologies that don’t make use of existing infrastructure must be truly spectacular to survive — and some just might fit that bill.”
Lux Research developed a robust top-down model to assess the global market and assessed next-generation technologies with the potential to capitalize on the market. Among its conclusions:
- Urban replacement offers the greatest business opportunity. Urban replacement represents more than 55% of the potential market, and more than half of that is in accessible markets in the developing world. Overall, replacement projects constitute more than 85% of all projects, with only 15% going toward building of new capacities.
- Fixed and moving media enjoy business advantages. Companies such as Aqwise and Entex use fixed or moving media as an alternative to traditional activated sludge, the largest segment of the wastewater market. The technique marks a simple compromise but enjoys a business advantage in cost and capabilities when it comes to addressing a large and fragmented market.
- Epuramat, Clearford, SCFI enjoy technology niches. Epuramat’s Box4Water treatment facility for small communities, Clearford’s shallow small-pipe network, and SCFI’s industrial treatment systems are unique technologies that can address niche markets. In a conservative industry crying out for radical solutions, the three firms have outstanding prospects but are still early stage.
- Biggest markets are distributed evenly. Top national markets divide equally between the developed and developing world — the U.S. and China are the largest, followed by Japan, Brazil, Germany, and India. However, the developed world requires investment of up to four times more because of higher costs.
The report, titled “Sizing Up Advanced Municipal Wastewater Treatment,” is part of the Lux Research Water Intelligence service.