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Strategic Analysis of the Desalination Technologies Market in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • February 2016
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 58 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

Strategic Analysis of the Desalination Technologies Market in Sub-Saharan Africa : Acute Water Scarcity will Spur the Adoption of Seawater Desalination in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is experiencing acute water shortages due to erratic rainfall patterns and the increased frequency of droughts. The region is largely dependent on rainfall; however, alternate sources have to be found to meet the current and the future demand for fresh water. Global seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination capacity is growing at an annual rate of 13.6% and is expected to continue growing at the same rate over the next 5 years. Innovative membrane upgrades, such as the development of ceramic and polymeric membranes, and the use of renewable energy, targeted at reducing operating costs, continue to spur the growth of SWRO desalination. This market insight discusses the use of SWRO as a source of portable water in the region. Desalination has been widely and successfully implemented in North Africa. Algeria is a key example of a country in Africa that has managed to use desalination on a large scale. At present, South Africa is the main user of desalination technology in SSA. Ghana and Namibia also have operational plants.

Key Findings

-Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is experiencing acute water shortages due to erratic rainfall patterns and the increased frequency of droughts. The region is largely dependent on rainfall; however, alternate sources have to be found to meet the current and the future demand for fresh water.

Global seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination capacity is growing at an annual rate of 13.6% and is expected to continue growing at the same rate over the next 5 years. Innovative membrane upgrades, such as the development of ceramic and polymeric membranes, and the use of renewable energy, targeted at reducing operating costs, continue to spur the growth of SWRO desalination.

SWRO has been widely and successfully implemented in North Africa. Algeria is a key example of a country in Africa that has managed to use desalination on a large scale.

Although technological innovation is decreasing the operational cost of desalination plants, making them an increasingly viable option for the public and the municipal sectors, the adoption rate in SSA has been slow. The development of desalination plants is hampered by the lack of funds and insufficient energy supplies and public water tariffs that are well below cost-recovery levels.

South Africa is the most significant user of desalination technology in SSA. Ghana and Namibia also have operational plants.

In future, a sizeable opportunity for chemicals and technology providers is expected in the desalination industry in SSA. To capitalize on this opportunity, companies must apply the fundamental principles of knowing the customer and understanding the customer’s needs.

Affordable and targeted solutions are in demand as high-end technologies are expensive and, in some cases, cannot be operated or repaired by the local population.

Successful companies in the desalination chemicals and technologies sector must incorporate operation efficiency and water-energy nexus principles into their design.

Physical presence and local manufacturing are also required to shorten the supply chain and make technologies and chemicals more accessible.

Infrastructure is expensive and takes time to set up; a potential market for water treatment technologies and chemicals is in small mobile plants; however, the uptake of these plants has been slow.

Financing is a key restraint in the employment of SWRO desalination in the public sector; companies will have to provide innovative funding models or enter partnerships with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to penetrate the public sector desalination projects in SSA that largely rely on private-public partnerships (PPPs).

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