Wastewater drive to boost membrane use in GCC region says analyst

Government identification of wastewater treatment in the municipal sector as a priority area in water production will be a key revenue generation source for membrane elements in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries according to market analyst Frost & Sullivan. And the demand for water in the region was set to double within twenty years the analyst forecast.

The emphasis on wastewater is, according to Frost & Sullivan, driven by concerns over deteriorating ground water quality and damage to the marine ecosystem. And falling costs will also push membrane-based desalination it said in a study Analysis of the Gulf Cooperation Council membrane elements market.

The analyst said preparations for the 2020 football World Cup in Qatar will spawn several infrastructure projects with supporting water projects, fuelling still greater adoption of membrane elements.

Frost & Sullivan found that the market earned revenues of US$ 491 million in 2014 and estimated this to reach $869 million in 2018. It said opportunities for membrane bio-reactors will be substantial, in the potential for recycling and reuse of grey water (domestic sewage) and industrial effluents.

Frost & Sullivan said the demand for water in the GCC was “expected to double in the next two decades” and were taking measures that included “consistent investments in membrane-based desalination, focus on energy efficiency in desalination, reducing technical and commercial losses in water systems, wastewater reuse, and a possible relook into the water tariff structure.”

According to the analyst, the subsidized water tariff in the GCC countries hindered the adoption of membrane technologies. High non-revenue water and low levels of recycle and reuse limited the use of membrane systems. It advised vendors to widen their product range to include specialized products to improve their market share.”Offering one-stop solutions catering to various requirements will ensure consumer loyalty,” said Frost & Sullivan. “Further, establishing a smooth working relationship with water original equipment manufacturers will be crucial to quicken development in the GCC membrane elements market,” it added.