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Desalinise sea water to meet fresh water demand, says industry report

Sep 29, 2012

Desalination is being actively considered as a viable water supply alternative as rapid industrial development escalates demand for fresh water in an increasingly water-stressed India.

The rapid industrial development in India is escalating demand for fresh water in the increasingly water-stressed country. Owing to India’s large coastline, desalination is considered one of the most viable water supply alternatives.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of Growth Opportunities in the Indian Desalination Market, finds that the market earned revenues of INR 1.12 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach INR 7.48 billion in 2015.

The desalination market is in its growth stage and has substantial opportunities for the next ten years, as industries such as power, refineries, and chemicals are adopting efficient and sustainable technologies for the supply of fresh water.

Apart from industrialization, economic diversification and urbanization make a robust case for desalination. Urban centers account for more than 30 percent of the total population of India and the rate of urbanization is estimated to be 2.5 percent during 2010-2015. This directly translates to declining per capita water availability.

“Mumbai has high per capita water consumption, while the demand for water in Chennai is expected to increase four times by 2025,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst. “As both Mumbai and Chennai are located near the coast; desalination is deemed the most feasible option.”

However, despite the large market for desalination, plant owners have to depend on external financing agents such as national and foreign banks. This slows down the financial approval process for municipal projects and therefore, the market as a whole.

With appropriate government initiatives and legislations on water treatment and private partnerships, the desalination market is expected to pick up steam after 2012. The market will get a leg up from larger government funds, municipal desalination projects, and coastal industry power projects.

“Reliability, efficiency, and technical experience are the other key factors considered by end users while choosing desalination suppliers,” noted the Analyst. “A company that provides end-to-end solutions and lowers the operational and energy consumption cost to the end-user will occupy a central position in Indian market.”

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