More than $5 billion will be spent this year for hardware and membranes used in reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and microfiltration cross flow systems. Despite a downturn in the semiconductor segment, the industry will see growth of over $400 million from last year. Desalination, biotechnology, and municipal drinking water are the major contributors to this growth.
The U.S. will lead the way with purchases of $1.3 billion for cross flow systems. The power industry in the U.S. is expanding its purchases of cross flow systems at double digit rates. The trend toward coal firing for new capacity will result in greater cross flow system expenditures than if the capacity were all supplied by gas turbines.
U.S. expenditures in 2001 will equal the purchases of all the Western European countries. Purchases in the Middle East will exceed $400 million. This is primarily due to desalination requirements for drinking water and industrial use.
Expenditures in east Asia will exceed $1.5 billion. This region with its huge population, scarcity of fresh water, and growing infrastructure needs will continue to expand its purchases of cross flow systems at a rate just under 10 percent per year.
System and membrane suppliers will see double digit gains in profitability. A steep decline in membrane prices over the last several years has been reversed. In 2000, there was inadequate supply in certain segments of the market. This had a positive effect on prices and profitability.
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Source: McIlvaine Co.