Chris Hadley Consulting worked closely on a specific project looking at the size and prospects for membrane bioreactors or MBRs. MBRs are a growing technology across the world for wastewater treatment offering particular benefits in terms of tertiary treatment as well as a smaller footprint compared with traditional technologies.
Interviews were made with key players active in this market across the United States and Canada. Analysis that followed noted the small size of the market for such technology currently, just over $200 million, as well as that fact that the market was heavily affected by sporadic investment plans by those in the public sector. Concerns about whole life costs were a feature here. Outside of the municipal market industrial and other users were seen as presenting better opportunities with falling membrane prices and growing interest in water re-use in certain areas of the US stimulating demand.
Around 30-35 companies were identified as being active in the North American market. Although a number of new entrants, many from South East Asia, were identified their progress to date has been limited. The result is a sector which remains concentrated in the hands of water technology multinationals.