Water scarcity increases need for water treatment chemicals

10th March 2017

Water scarcity  increases need for water treatment chemicals

MAKING A CLEAN SWEEP Industrial water and wastewater treatment chemicals market s expected to reach $199-million by 2020
Photo by: Duane Daws

South Africa’s growing water scarcity and infrastructure inadequacy are projected to lead to an escalation in the need for effective water treatment chemicals, notes market research company Frost & Sullivan.

The company points out that a rise in environmental awareness has accelerated the move away from conventional methods of water and wastewater treatment towards mechanical separation and biological methods.

“A decline in water levels and water quality, as a result of a threatening water crisis across South Africa, is prompting treatment chemicals companies to invest in alternative water treatment methods. As a result, the opportunities for suppliers within the water and wastewater treatment chemicals market is expected to increase,” says Frost & Sullivan visionary science practices research analyst Justin Malherbe.

New analysis contained in Frost & Sullivan’s ‘Industrial water and wastewater treatment chemicals market analysis in South Africa, forecast to 2020’ report, finds that the market, valued at $159.3- million, experienced a significant decline between 2013 and 2014 as a result of political and economic instability.

However, the report notes that this market is expected to recover and reach $199-million by 2020. The largest chemicals segment in 2015 was coagulants and flocculants, with revenues of $59.8-million. This segment is expected to be the slowest developing segment; however, it will retain the largest market share in the forecast period. The ‘other’ chemicals segment is expected to be the fastest-growing chemicals segment.

Malherbe reports that, despite the economic recovery and consequent rise in demand, the wastewater treatment chemicals industry in South Africa is threatened by low-cost imports from Asia and the Middle East. Further, a lack of sufficient skills and expertise in treatment chemicals manufacture and implementation is expected to partially mitigate market growth over the next two years.

“Market participants are, however, optimistic about their prospects. “Government has been encouraging industrial wastewater treatment and reuse by imposing penalties on noncompliance and rolling out incentive-based Green Drop and Blue Drop regulations,” notes Malherbe.

He adds that updates to regulations and policies are impelling State-owned power utility Eskom as well as other companies to achieve the zero liquid effluent discharge targets, boosting the demand for water treatment chemicals among industry end-users.

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