CHUO-KU, Tokyo, Dec. 28, 2009 -- Toray Industries Inc. announced that it has won a series of orders to supply reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for desalination plants in Bahrain and Spain. The combined water production capacity of the two plants will be 316,600 cubic meters per day (84 MGD). In particular, the order for the desalination plant in Al Dur, Bahrain ( below) is a major project for Toray, following the order it won for the desalination plant in Magtaa, Algeria, which boasts a water production capacity of 500,000 cubic meters per day (132 MGD) per day.
The following are details of the two orders:
Campo de Dalías Desalination Plant -- Spain, 98,600 cubic meters per day (26 MGD), expected start-up 2010The Campo de Dalías Desalination Plant is a large-scale RO membrane-based desalination plant located in Almeria, southern Spain, for which a consortium (UTE) consisting of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Ibérica, Veolia Agua, Sando Construcciones, Inypsa and Montajes Eléctricos Crescencio Pérez have signed a 15 year DBO (design, build and operate) contract. Toray has an established track record of supplying RO membranes to seawater desalination plants in Spain and this project is the biggest ever for the company.
The RO membrane market has been expanding at an annual rate exceeding 12%, fueled by worsening global water shortages and the need for conservation of water resources in response to environmental considerations. Specifically, demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30% in seawater and brine desalination applications as plant capacities expand. The demand is expected to keep growing steadily, primarily in regions including the Americas, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and China. Further growth in demand for RO membranes is anticipated as new markets such as urban sewage and wastewater reuse plants are expanding in addition to the growth in demand for seawater and brine desalination applications and industrial applications, such as production of water for use in boilers.
The RO membranes Toray has supplied so far now produce 3.8 million cubic meters of water per day (1003 MGD) in seawater desalination, making Toray the top supplier in the field. The amount of water produced by the plants using Toray's RO membranes is equivalent to the daily consumption of water used by about 15 million people.
With the size of plants getting larger, the competition between global suppliers for market share is expected to further intensify.
Toray has supplied RO membranes to the world's largest urban sewage reuse plant in Sulaibiya, Kuwait (with a capacity of producing 320,000 cubic meters of water per day (85 MGD)) and is the top manufacturer in the world of RO membranes in the two growth fields of seawater desalination and sewage reuse, with its membranes used to process 1.2 million cubic meters per day (317 MGD) in sewage reuse.
Toray enhanced the production capacity of RO membrane elements at its existing facilities -- Ehime Plant in Japan and Toray Membrane USA Inc. (TMUS) in the U.S - to address this growing demand. Moreover, Toray together with China National BlueStar (Group) Co., Ltd. established a joint venture company Toray BlueStar Membrane Co., Ltd. (TBMC) in Beijing, China in July of this year to produce RO membranes. The facility under this joint venture is scheduled to start operations in April 2010. With these expansions and the new facility, Toray's RO membrane element production capacity will quadruple compared to the capacity level in March 2007.
Toray will continue to actively pursue RO membrane orders not only in the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean region, but also in the Americas, China and Oceania.