Drought-stricken California is at the epicenter of desalination activity, McIlvaine says. Along that state’s coast, 17 plants have been proposed to convert saltwater from the ocean or bays.
A $1 billion plant under construction near San Diego will be biggest desalination facility in the western hemisphere when it starts operations in 2016, producing 50 million gallons of potable water daily. Israel-based IDE Technologies signed a contract with Kiewit Shea Desalination to design and supply equipment for the plant, located near the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, California.
Another proposed plant near Concord, Calif., would convert 20 million gallons a day, and a $400 million plant could begin construction in Monterey County by 2018.
Activity in the Middle East will also be high, although other areas of the world are gaining market share.
The biggest hardware investment will be in cross-flow membrane equipment, the analyst predicts. The highest consumable expenditures will be replacement membrane modules and treatment chemicals.
McIlvaine predicts 2015 revenues as follows:
- Water treatment chemicals: $800 million
- Pumps: $500 million
- Valves: $400 million
- Liquid macrofiltration: $100 million
- Cartridges: $80 million
- Sedimentation and centrifugation: $60 million
- Cross-flow membrane equipment and replacement modules: $3.06 billion
Desalinations systems today only handle about one percent of the amount being pumped for all the world’s drinking supplies, McIlvaine says. But the high-pressure pumps needed for reverse osmosis are an order of magnitude more expensive than those used for drinking water transport.
Private ownership is expected to account for 51 percent of the 25 million cubic meters per day of large-scale desalination projects currently planned or under construction, according to a report from Bluefield Research, out last December.
Global Desalination Market Trends & Ownership Strategies, 2014-2018, says the Middle East remains the geography epicenter, representing 64 percent of total installed capacity since 1980. However, the past 10 years have seen desalination technology deployment expand to more than 65 countries and across a mix of industry verticals, including agriculture, mining, power generation, and oil and gas.