South African Membrane Market
- ID: 655235
- September 2008
- Region: Africa, South Africa
- 119 Pages
- Frost & Sullivan
The research was carried out on the South African Membrane Market. The market was divided into three segments namely industrial, municipal and commercial. Market sizes of the three segments were established for 2007 and forecasts determined for the period 2008 to 2014. Market dynamics, for example, drivers, restraints and challenges were also identified.
Membrane Technology Emerges as a Viable Option for Water and Wastewater Treatment Solutions
Membrane technology is proving to be a viable option for water and wastewater treatment applications in South Africa. Most industrial water users are switching to membrane technology as effluent discharge policies become more stringent; companies are required to treat their wastewater before discharging it into the environment. "There is mounting evidence that membrane technology presents a viable option for water and wastewater treatment as industrial end users are increasingly using membrane technology to manage their wastewater streams," notes the analyst of this research. "Both capital and operating costs of membrane plants have decreased significantly in the last two decades mainly due to improvements in technology." The shortage of surface water sources has forced most industrial water users to resort to wastewater recycling. With water and sewer regulations becoming more stringent, industrial water users are increasingly looking towards wastewater recycling, which in turn, is driving the demand for membrane technology.
Although South Africa’s surface water sources are limited, its extremely long coastline has an almost infinite water resource available to coastal municipalities and industries. Opportunities for seawater desalination in these areas remain untapped. Treatment of groundwater in the mining sector has also influenced growth in the membrane market. The Emalahleni Desalination Plant in Witsbank has revived much interest in the potential growth of membrane technology in the mining industry. Apart from water and wastewater treatment, industrial companies can also use membrane technology to explore other opportunities from seawater desalination. The use of reverse osmosis in seawater desalination produces not only water but also ultra-pure salt from the concentrated brine stream.
High Capital and Operational Costs Hinder Market Growth
Although there has been a decline in the prices of membrane systems, most users still cannot afford to use this technology. Besides the high capital cost, membrane plants are very expensive to maintain. On average, membrane systems have to be replaced every three to five years and, at the same time, they need to be cleaned on a regular basis to remove foulants.
The market is experiencing a shortage of skilled staff to operate and maintain membrane plants. As a result, customers consider the ability to provide training and after-sales services as key elements when choosing where to source their requirements.
Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following application areas in this research:
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