California’s NanoH2O to be bought by South Korea’s LG Chem

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California’s Nano H20 to be bought by South Korea’s LG Chem

Californian seawater reverse osmosis company, NanoH2O, will be reportedly bought out by South Korean-based LG Chem for $200 million.

Several news sources, including Businessweek and the Yonhap News Agency have reported that LG Chem revealed the plan in a filing to the Korea Exchange.

NanoH2O told WWi magazine (Water & Wastewater International) that it did not have a comment and a statement would not be released.

However, the transaction has been reported to close by April 30 2014.

It took the Californian company five years to take what was a University of California research project through to full commercialisation of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for desalination.

The company’s first major installation was on the Cayman Islands with a Cayman Water Authority facility operating at a capacity of 550 m3/day.

In October 2013 NanoH2O announced a $45 million investment into a manufacturing facility in Liyang, China (see WWi story).

At the time, Jeff Green, CEO told WWi: “This plant will be on a global scale, to allow us to compete with all the major suppliers in the marketplace. We chose to put the plant in China because of the market opportunity. If you look at projections over the next 5-10 years, China should become the largest domestic consumer of reverse osmosis technology in the world.”

One month later and the Californian firm announced a contract to supply RO membranes for two major projects in Saudi Arabia.

The first project, awarded by Al Fatah Water and Power International, is for phase II of the Jubail desalination plant where the RO membranes will produce 13,000 m3/day.

The second project, a desalination plant to be designed by AES Arabia at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Research Park, will produce 15,000 m3/day.

It was at the end of 2010 when electronics giant LG announced it would be spending more than US$400 million over the next decade to enter the water treatment market and develop an advanced membrane filtration system (see WWi story).

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Commercialising Desalination’s Holy Grail: Low Cost, High Flux Membranes                                                                           One firm in the United States claims to have changed the economics of desalination globally. It hopes to have reduced the price of desalinated water by a third by 2020 and become the leading supplier of membranes. And it was started a mere five years ago. Ambitious goals for a start-up? Tom Freyberg speaks to NanoH2O's CEO, Jeff Green, to find out…

VIDEO: IDA World Congress highlights – Nano H20 China investment

How is the environmental footprint of RO membranes being reduced, through energy and biofouling improvements?                                                                                                                                                                                           Continuing WWi magazine's series of comparing different technologies, we address reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. This article will feature recent developments in RO elements and system design, which address energy and biofouling issues, reducing cost and the environmental impact of desalination systems…

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