inge GmbH part of BASF

Marking World Water Day on 22 March, 2009: Rapid growth in business for German water treatment specialist


Source: inge GmbH part of BASF

It is not only on World Water Day that the subject of water treatment and water supplies attracts such major attention. Water is the cornerstone of our efforts to sustainably push forward economic development. And even during times of global economic crisis, there continues to be a growing market for companies such as the German company inge watertechnologies AG, which uses cutting-edge technology to obtain clean water that can be used as drinking and process water from sources such as sewage, seawater and contaminated rivers.

Ensuring the availability of adequate amounts of clean water is set to be a major global issue in the future. It is a challenge that will be faced not only by developing and newly-industrialised countries, but also by the industrialised countries in the northern part of the globe. That is one of the reasons why the market for technologies pertaining to water treatment is one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide. According to a study carried out by BCC Research, global sales of water and wastewater technologies (excluding construction work) are set to climb from $25.3 billion in 2007 to almost $81 billion in 2012. The global economic crisis will determine whether these figures are actually reached, but one thing is clear: companies with efficient water treatment technologies will maintain a firm footing, even if many industries are overwhelmed by the “perfect storm” of this crisis.

“Water, like energy, must be used in a sustainable way”, emphasises Kandeh Yumkella, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Sustainable usage also means saving water and re-using it, and the greater the efficiency of this process, the better. And since greater space requirements go hand-in-hand with higher investment costs, it is generally also true that the smaller and more efficient the water treatment technology, the better the cost situation for all concerned. Traditional methods of water treatment such as sand filtration and UV irradiation require considerable time and space and are not capable of tackling significant fluctuations in water quality. The modern method of tackling this issue is known as ultrafiltration. It involves passing the dirty water through fine membranes, thereby removing the suspended solids, viruses and bacteria that are simply too large to fit through the ultrafine pores. This process does not require the use of chemicals and the filtrate maintains a consistently high level of quality regardless of the degree of contamination of the original water.

German Company Takes Spot As Global Technology Leader

The German company inge watertechnologies AG based in Greifenberg am Ammersee is one of the world's leading ultrafiltration businesses. With a global reach enhanced by its network of partners, the company has implemented numerous reference products around the globe featuring its cutting-edge technology. Its range of products includes highly-efficient ultrafiltration modules and cost-effective, space-saving rack designs as the core components of water treatment plants. All the company's products are based on the in-house development of its patented membrane technology. Bruno Steis, the Board Member responsible for business development and marketing at inge watertechnologies cites some of the benefits: “Our technology offers significant advantages over conventional water treatment methods, such as rapid, simple and space-saving installation of the modules and stable, extremely resilient membranes. This makes planning a water treatment facility much simpler and makes it possible to achieve low-cost installation and reliable operation.”

Water Treatment Plants Must Be Safe, Efficient and Sustainably Cost-Effective

Steis explains that the secret of inge watertechnologies’ success can be put quite simply: local authorities and industrial concerns need to secure their water supplies and must therefore invest in water treatment systems. It is essential that the technology should be completely reliable and guaranteed to provide economical operation on a sustainable basis. Ideally, it should also be possible to integrate the systems in existing buildings in order to avoid the costs of constructing new facilities. And these are precisely the benefits that can be achieved by deploying “inge technology”. The steady growth of this specialist company situated near the Ammersee lake in southern Germany is a clear indication that ultrafiltration has a bright future. As Bruno Steis puts it: “Just recently, we brought a new production plant online that has almost tripled our production capacity. We are therefore optimistic about the future despite the global economic crisis. And the clean water that people need to drink and companies need for process water is now really something that people should be talking about not only on World Water Day, but all year round!”

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