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MBR capacity – China and RoW

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Simon Judd
Simon Judd

Simon Judd has over 35 years’ post-doctorate experience in all aspects of water and wastewater treatment technology, both in academic and industrial R&D. He has (co-)authored six book titles and over 200 peer-reviewed publications in water and wastewater treatment.

Note: This article was written in 2016. For the latest list see: Largest plants worldwide.

According to my imperfect filing system, it’s been a whole year since the burning issue of global MBR capacity was pondered on this very blog.

The total number of MBR installations and their combined capacity is probably the thing we get asked about more than anything else particularly, for some reason, relating to the US and specifically by North Americans. This is still a matter of some bemusement to myself and my life partner, given that neither of us hail from that fair country. Perhaps we are blessed with second sight on this subject? Or maybe there’s a special throbbing red phone at Judd Mansions specifically dedicated to the technology suppliers for such occasions as the commissioning of new installations:

‘Hi Simon and Claire, just to let you know that we’ve just finished putting in a 1.2 MGD plant at a chicken ranch in Wyoming.’

No seriously, it’s good to be kept informed, and we do appreciate all such calls to the MBR Installations hotline. If only people did call us. If only there were a hotline. If only our internet worked. And the printer.

In the blog of March 2015, it was mentioned that the company Origin Water, based in Beijing, had almost 3 GLD (that’s 3,000 megalitres per day) of installed capacity to its name, the largest being at Xingyi in Guizhou province. This plant weighs in at over 300 MLD which, while still only 35% of the capacity of the plant at Henriksdal, is nonetheless of the same order of magnitude as the plants under construction at Canton (Ovivo) and Acheres (GE) (Largest MBR plants).

What’s really striking, however, is the volume of large municipal MBR plants based on the same technology (OW’s own PVDF-based HF ‘MBRU’ technology). At the last count (see table below) the company had 20 installations rated at 100 MLD or more, and 35 of more than 50 MLD. That puts the average capacity of these 35 plants at more than 110 MLD. That’s a whole lotta fibre.

So, if there’s 4 GLD of capacity from these 35 MBR plants relating to a single supplier in China and that’s without even considering other Chinese suppliers and the significant penetration of the Chinese market by the established Japanese MBR technology providers plus the more recent Taiwanese and Singaporean ones what does that imply regarding the global capacity?

It’s obviously not something that can be readily extrapolated. Even with the slowdown in the Chinese economy, OW appear to have managed to increase their installed capacity by 25% in around year. Various market analyses continue to point to double digit growth in implementation. So, if the best guess was, conservatively, 15 GLD a year ago, then that would imply that it would be somewhere between 17 and 20 GLD today.

Sounds impressive, until it’s considered that globally about 1000 GLD of sewage is being generated. So, still room for improvement. And plenty of room in the market for all, it would seem.

Origin Water MBR installations as at March 2016 (with thanks to Xinxin Yan of Origin Water):
Installation Location PDF (MLD)
Water affairs Integrative EPCXingyi, Guizhou306.6
9th and 10th WWTPKunming, Yunnan250
Sanjintan upgrading and expansion of WWTPWuhan, Hubei200
Caotan WWTP PPP projectXian, Shaanxi200
Jilin WWTP RenovatingJilin, Jilin200
Shendinghe WWTPShiyan, Hubei180
Qinghe reclaimed water plant phase IIBeijing150
East City WWTP phase IIINanjing, Jiangsu150
Taoziwan WWTP phase IIYantai, Shandong150 (half underground)
Jilin WWTP Phase IIJilin, Jilin150
Purchase of Xianghu WWTP membrane processChangsha, Hunan140
Jinyang WWTPJinyang, Shanxi120 (underground)
Huangcun reclaimed water projectDaxing, Beijing120
Wenyu river projectShunyi, Beijing100
Beijiao WWTP renovation projectOrdos, Inner Mongolia100
Total package of Qianshan water purification plant equipmentZhuhai, Guangdong100
Xianlin WWTP PPP projectNanjing, Jiangsu100
Beijiao WWTPOrdos, Inner Mongolia100
Zhengding new district WWTPZhengding, Hebei100
Chengxiang WWTP Phase IHaiyan, Zhejiang100
High-tech industrial development zone WWTPShijiazhuang, Hebei80
Wandong WWTP PPPZhuji, Zhejiang80 (underground)
Mentougou WWTP Phase IIMentougou, Beijing80
Dali WWTP phase IIDali, Yunnan75
Gongbei water purification plant expansion projectZhuhai, Guangdong70
Hohhot Bandingying WWTP renovatingHohhot, Inner Mogolia70
Miyun new city reclaimed water plantMiyun, Beijing65
4th WWTP renovation projectKunming, Yunnan60
Laoyuhe rain water treatment plantKunming, Yunnan50
Luolonghe WWTPKunming, Yunnan50
Hexi reclaimed water plantFengtai, Beijing50
Chengbei WWTP phase IVWuxi, Jiangsu50
Meicun WWTPWuxi, Jiangsu50
Dongting WWTP phase IVWuxi, Jiangsu50
Dongqu WWTP renovation projectBeijing50


With thanks to Xinxin Yan of Origin Water for the list of MBR installations (as at March 2016)

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'MBR capacity – China and RoW' was written by Simon Judd

This page was last updated on 19 April 2022


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