Expect $5 billion ultrapure water market by 2009: McIlvaine reports

The market for ultrapure water systems, products, and services will grow from under $3 billion in 2004 to over $5 billion in 2009. This is the latest forecast in the continually updated online market analysis, "Ultrapure Water: World Markets," published by the McIlvaine Company...

NORTHBROOK, IL, Nov. 11, 2004 -- The market for ultrapure water systems, products, and services will grow from under $3 billion in 2004 to over $5 billion in 2009. This is the latest forecast in the continually updated online market analysis, "Ultrapure Water: World Markets," published by the McIlvaine Company.

Ultrapure water is used for cleaning semiconductor chips, to make steam in power plants, and as the carrier for pharmaceuticals which are injected into the human body. Uses continue to grow. The flat panel industry is one of the growth markets. As the biotechnology industry moves from laboratory to production, the ultrapure water needs rise steeply.

Ultrapure water systems require sophisticated monitoring and instrumentation systems. The most efficient filtration systems are also employed. Adsorption and ion exchange are also necessary to meet the purification needs.

The semiconductor industry will purchase ultrapure water systems, products, and services exceeding $1.5 billion this year or more than 50% of the total for all industries. This is in marked contrast to 2001, when the semiconductor industry accounted for 40% of the ultrapure water purchases. Capital expenditures for semiconductor ultrapure water systems will be up 50% this year as the industry moves through its growth cycle. Growth in the sales of ion exchange resins and other chemicals for ultrapure water systems will be up more than 20%.

Revenue from flat-screen production will be up 40% above last year's level and three times greater than market levels in 2001. While industry revenue is still only a third as great as that of semiconductor manufacturers, its capital expenditures for ultrapure water systems are close to 50% as large.

Last year, for the first time, computer buyers purchased more flat-screen monitors than traditional tube-based models. The television market is an even bigger opportunity for flat-screen technology. About 15% of the roughly 180 million TV sets that will be sold worldwide this year are flat-screen varieties.

Operators of coal-fired power plants will purchase ultrapure water systems, products, and services worth more than $500 million this year. China will be the leading purchaser with the Unites States a distant second.

Led by South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, Asia accounts for more than 50% of the ultrapure water purchases. This world share will continue to grow over the coming years.

The competition in the industry has increased with the entry of both GE and Siemens through acquisitions. GE has acquired Osmonics, Glegg, and Betz (and reached an agreement to buy Ionics) to become a leading participant in the industry. The recent acquisition of USFilter by Siemens places it along the leaders as well. ITT is another major company who has positioned itself through acquisitions to serve this market. The arrival of these major companies will accelerate the trend toward outsourcing of the ultrapure water function.

For more information on "Ultrapure Water: World Markets," go to: www.mcilvainecompany.com/water.html#N029.

The McIlvaine Company is based in Northfield, Ill.

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