Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) of Birmingham, Ala., has consistently achieved the rating of the number-five water system in the United States...
The world market for equipment and services to produce ultrapure water for the power, semiconductor, pharmaceutical and other industries worldwide will rise from $3.6 billion this year to $4.8 billion in 2010, according to the latest forecast in the online report, Ultrapure Water World Markets, published by the McIlvaine Co.
The market peaked in 2000 and then dropped precipitously due to the reduction in semiconductor sales, the lack of orders for new coal-fired plants and slowness in industry generally. Over the next several years it regained momentum and is moving forward on a wide front.
Semiconductor construction is growing at a rate that would be envied in most industries, but is still at only half its historic rate. However, the flat panel display industry is achieving double-digit growth. Some of these new factories use more ultrapure water than the largest semiconductor plant.
By 2010, ultrapure water system and service sales to the power industry will exceed $1 billion. Nearly half those revenues will come from just two countries, the U.S. and China. Both countries are building hundreds of new coal-fired boilers. Many of these will be the super critical units with the most exacting ultrapure water requirements. China will be raising its coal-fired capacity from 300,000 MW today to more than 600,000 MW by 2020. This additional 300,000 MW is equal to the entire capacity in the U.S. and more than all of Western Europe combined.
Reverse osmosis systems are one of the biggest product segments in ultrapure water systems. In 2010, worldwide sales of reverse osmosis systems for ultrapure water applications will exceed $400 million. Pumps and valves of special materials are required for ultrapure water systems. Sales of these special pumps and valves will exceed $300 million in 2010. Storage and piping sales will be $250 million.
Ultrapure water systems are highly instrumented and closely controlled. Sales of instruments and controls for ultrapure water will exceed $600 million in 2010.
The industry continues to globalize as international companies establish manufacturing presence in Asia. GE has continued to make acquisitions in the area with the recent purchase of Zenon. Siemens became a major player with the acquisition of USFilter. ITT has positioned itself in the industry with both filtration and pump products. Dow Chemical furnishes membranes, ion exchange resins and some of the special plastics used in the fluid handling products.