Business Guidance

Market Evaluation

The membrane filtration market for industrial water applications first emerged in the mid 1980s, and then expanded rapidly in the 1990s with the emergence of drivers for cryptosporidium and giardia removal in drinking water treatment.

The chart below shows estimated annual installed membrane filtration market capacity for new projects, mld

Chart shows estimated annual installed membrane filtration market capacity for new projects, mld

Total membrane filtration capacity installed 1997-2017 excluding MBR – 75,000 mld

MCA has conducted an extensive survey of UF and MF supplier reference lists and company valuations from accounts and M&A activity to provide a comprehensive analysis of market trends.

Using data from installations since the inception of the market, it is possible to provide an evaluation of trends, ie capacity, sales value and growth, with respect to:

  • Application
  • Project size
  • Region
  • Material
  • Format
Chart showing market share of RO pre-treatment compared with all membrane applications

RO pre-treatment share of all membrane filtration applications averaged over three year time periods between 1999 and 2016

The analysis enables a tailored segmentation analysis to be performed depending on requirements. An example of the segmentation output is shown below illustrating the share of RO pre-treatment compared to filtration only within the membrane filtration market in a sequence of three year time periods over the last 20 years to illustrate the growth in relative importance of desalination markets.

Mergers & Acquisi­tions

Technical due diligence

Membrane markets vary significantly between different sectors. For example, RO and NF markets are characterized by a commoditised approach, with supplier offerings which are physically inter-changeable within a common system design. In contrast, membrane filtration offerings are differentiated, with different material and format choices in products which are not physically identical and which use different operating strategies.

MCA combines a thorough knowledge of membrane technology and markets to provide an understanding of the competitive positioning of supplier offerings for both existing players and new entrants for each of the membrane sectors. The analysis can examine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (i.e. a SWOT analysis) for any specific offering amongst its competitors.

Market potential

Membrane market valuation and growth in water and wastewater can be segmented by application category, region, project size and membrane technology format to provide an indication of the opportunity for any specific supplier offering.
The competitive position for a particular offering is based on both performance and on system price, which is itself based on product pricing and the cost of a system developed around that product. There are pros and cons of the various offerings with advantageous niches for specific products depending on project size and application.
The market segmentation analysis taken together with the competitive analysis will indicate the potential for the target product to grow market share.

Product Approval

Legislation in the field of potable water treatment is well developed, and is based on health guidelines published by the World Health organization (WHO). These guidelines have been used in the US by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in the European Union through a legislative framework to determine national standards on a country by country basis.

Products for industrial water applications and wastewater reuse tend to follow the lead established for potable requirements.

Products used for the production of potable water need to ensure that they do not contain harmful extractables. In some countries, they also need to demonstrate efficacy. In the US, products need to meet the requirements of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). In the EU, four countries have led the way in developing specific product approval requirements namely France (ACS), Germany (KTW/DVGW), the Netherlands (Kiwa) and the UK (DWI/WRAS).

Japan also has its own approvals, but most other countries accept approvals either from the US or from one of the four European countries.

MCA can help clients navigate the requirements of the approval process including component selection and laboratory testing.