Capital investment in desalination plants to reach $87.8bn by 2016: Pike Research

The increased construction of desalination plants due to the steady fall in the cost of several key technologies for seawater-to-freshwater conversion is projected to generate a cumulative capital investment of $87.8bn worldwide from 2010 to 2016, says a report from Pike Research.

The increased construction of desalination plants due to the steady fall in the cost of several key technologies for seawater-to-freshwater conversion is projected to generate a cumulative capital investment of $87.8bn worldwide from 2010 to 2016, says a report from Pike Research.


Pike Research's study, 'Desalination Technology Markets', reports that membranes, which serve as efficient barriers to salts dissolved in seawater and brackish water, are being utilized as a cost-effective means of desalination in a variety of settings.

The membrane technology including reverse osmosis, thermal processes with multi-stage flash distillation, multiple effect distillation, and vapor compression, are being deployed in desalination plants to reduce the capital costs associated with desalination plant construction.

The desalination market brings together engineering, procurement, and construction companies, desalination plant suppliers, construction companies, operation and maintenance service providers, consulting engineers, and suppliers of pumps, valves, membranes, pressure vehicles, and chemicals.

Pike Research president Clint Wheelock said that desalination market growth is being driven by a combination of dwindling water resources, population growth and urbanization, and lower desalination costs.

"While we are forecasting a slowdown in the market over the next two years, largely due to the lingering effects of the global financial crisis, the outlook for the longer term remains strong, and we anticipate that desalination capital investment will double within six years," Wheelock said.

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