MBR capacity – China and RoW

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Simon Judd

Professor Simon Judd has over 20 years’ experience in teaching the fundamentals of water and wastewater technologies and is author of The MBR Book, Industrial MBRs and watermaths (3rd ed). See the Judd Water & Wastewater Consultancy website and Simon's profile on LinkedIn.com for more information.

Contact Simon at simon@juddwater.com.

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 EPC Xingyi, Guizhou 306.6
9th and 10th WWTP Kunming, Yunnan 250
Sanjintan upgrading and expansion of WWTP Wuhan, Hubei 200
Caotan WWTP PPP project Xian, Shaanxi 200
Jilin WWTP Renovating Jilin, Jilin 200
Shendinghe WWTP Shiyan, Hubei 180
Qinghe reclaimed water plant phase II Beijing 150
East City WWTP phase III Nanjing, Jiangsu 150
Taoziwan WWTP phase II Yantai, Shandong 150 (half underground)
Jilin WWTP Phase II Jilin, Jilin 150
Purchase of Xianghu WWTP membrane process Changsha, Hunan 140
Jinyang WWTP Jinyang, Shanxi 120 (underground)
Huangcun reclaimed water project Daxing, Beijing 120
Wenyu river project Shunyi, Beijing 100
Beijiao WWTP renovation project Ordos, Inner Mongolia 100
Total package of Qianshan water purification plant equipment Zhuhai, Guangdong 100
Xianlin WWTP PPP project Nanjing, Jiangsu 100
Beijiao WWTP Ordos, Inner Mongolia 100
Zhengding new district WWTP Zhengding, Hebei 100
Chengxiang WWTP Phase I Haiyan, Zhejiang 100
High-tech industrial development zone WWTP Shijiazhuang, Hebei 80
Wandong WWTP PPP Zhuji, Zhejiang 80 (underground)
Mentougou WWTP Phase II Mentougou, Beijing 80
Dali WWTP phase II Dali, Yunnan 75
Gongbei water purification plant expansion project Zhuhai, Guangdong 70
Hohhot Bandingying WWTP renovating Hohhot, Inner Mogolia 70
Miyun new city reclaimed water plant Miyun, Beijing 65
4th WWTP renovation project Kunming, Yunnan 60
Laoyuhe rain water treatment plant Kunming, Yunnan 50
Luolonghe WWTP Kunming, Yunnan 50
Hexi reclaimed water plant Fengtai, Beijing 50
Chengbei WWTP phase IV Wuxi, Jiangsu 50
Meicun WWTP Wuxi, Jiangsu 50
Dongting WWTP phase IV Wuxi, Jiangsu 50
Dongqu WWTP renovation project Beijing 50
TOTAL 3946.6


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


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