The 2010 Global Water Awards: Water Technology Company of the Year

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For the company which has made the most significant contribution in the field of water technology over the past year.

Eimco Water Technologies (GLV)

What is it?
Eimco is the water technology subsidiary of GLV, which is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

What has it done?
During 2009, Eimco acquired Christ Water Technologies, doubling its revenues in the water sector. The company also continued to invest in new technologies and act as a licensor for third parties.

What makes it special?
* The greatest challenge of the water technology sector is fragmentation: there are too many under-scale technology companies trying to reach a global market of hundreds of thousands of utilities, many of which have deeply conservative attitudes to innovation. Eimco is the first significant industry consolidator to emerge since USFilter in the 1990s. The scale of its ambition will help accelerate the spread of new technologies across the water industry.
* During 2009, Eimco has developed technologies with a clear focus on energy reduction and sustainability, bringing significant improvements in the performance of clarifiers, control systems, intakes and membrane bio-reactors.
* Eimco is also an important collaborator with third party technology developers, as evidenced in 2009 by its joint venture with Global Water Engineering for anaerobic waste-to-energy systems, and its licensing arrangements for LM Mixer and Cenetik.

Koch Membrane Systems

What is it?
The membrane manufacturing subsidiary of Koch Industries.

What has it done?
In 2009, KMS made a massive bet on the superiority of its new 18-inch membrane modules, investing in an automated manufacturing facility in Boston. It has also developed new applications for its Puron ultrafiltration membrane.

What makes it special?
* Most big corporations with a subsidiary which was trailing a poor fourth in the market would cut and run. Koch is different. It believes in the power of technology, and has been investing to make the difference.
* The 18-inch module achieved its first seawater reverse osmosis reference in 2009 with the desalination plant serving the Esperanza mine in Chile. Large-diameter membranes are widely recognised as one of the most significant steps taken towards reducing the cost of desalination in the past five years.
* Koch was one of the pioneers of the ultrafiltration industry during the 1960s, and the development of its Puron membranes for drinking water and seawater pretreatment applications demonstrate the company’s commitment to staying at the cutting edge of technology.

Pump Engineering Inc.

What is it?
A supplier of turbo-style energy recovery devices for desalination plants.

What has it done?
In 2009, Pump Engineering pushed aside the established players to double its market share, securing the energy recovery contract for the largest membrane desalination plant in the world (at Mactaa in Algeria) along the way.

What makes it special?
* PEI’s proposition is two-fold. Firstly, it requires engineers to look at the energy efficiency of the whole power train, rather than just the energy recovery device. Secondly, it is available at lower capital costs than the market-leading system, reaching an important part of the market which was underserved by more highly priced isobaric devices.
* The power of this proposition was underscored in December 2009 when PEI was acquired by the market leader, Energy Recovery Inc.
* PEI has opened up the energy recovery device market in the Gulf and North Africa, where lower energy costs have meant that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has not been prioritised.

Underground Solutions Inc.

What is it?
A supplier of fusible PVC pipe which is ideally suited to trenchless pipe laying.

What has it done?
2009 was a breakthrough year for UGSI. Despite difficult market conditions, and a concerted misinformation campaign from its competitors, the company achieved 60% sales growth and established technology leadership in the conservative US pipelaying market.

What makes it special?
* UGSI’s fusible PVC pipe offers a brilliantly cost-effective solution to installing new pipelines and rehabilitating old ones. Its fusible joints allow massive trenchless pull-ins without the risk of leakage at the joints, while its Duraliner solution provides a structural lining for compromised pipes which is so robust that it counts as a new pipe under Government Accounting Standards Board guidelines.
* Trenchless technology is essential for rehabilitation work in long-established cities.
* Pipeline rehabilitation is one of the most significant challenges facing the water industry today. Hitherto it has also been largely resistant to new technology, partly because of the nature of the problem, and partly because of the conservatism of the market. UGSI has addressed the problem, and in 2009 it won over the market.