Many Enviro. Mkts to Grow Despite Recession

Feb. 20, 2009

Air and water pollution control companies have been reporting record profits in recent years, according to analysis by the McIlvaine Company ( And while the current worldwide economic slump

Air and water pollution control companies have been reporting record profits in recent years, according to analysis by the McIlvaine Company ( And while the current worldwide economic slump will likely prevent these companies from setting records in 2009 and 2010, McIlvaine says they will be balancing lost sales in some markets with growth in others.

According to McIlvaine, one of the biggest revenue generators will continue to be the power plant scrubber market. Worldwide orders will drop from $11 billion in 2008 to $8 billion in 2009 and $7 billion in 2010. However, revenue for suppliers will reflect the large order level in 2008 through 2010. This is due to the fact that revenues are generally recorded over a three to four year period on each project. As such, McIlvaine says orders throughout the next decade will remain far above the pre-2000 levels.

A similar trend exists for selective catalytic reduction systems for coal-fired power plants. McIlvaine predicts purchases in China, the United States and Europe will be strong, as power plant particulate control sales are likely to accelerate due to new fine particle regulations.

Sales of air-pollution control equipment for waste-to-energy and biomass power plants will also be up. This will be offset by losses in steel, mining and cement. However, the recently enacted U.S. stimulus package could offset some of the impact in the cement markets, according to McIlvaine. Sales of fabric filter replacement bags are expected to be relatively unaffected by the recession.

Meanwhile, McIlvaine predicts sales of macro filtration equipment for municipal wastewater, including belt presses, sand filters, and filter presses, will exceed $700 million in 2009, offsetting some shrinkage in the mining industry. The U.S. stimulus package is expected to bring a substantial boost to sales in the U.S., while infrastructure plans in most developing countries will continue as planned. Some countries, such as China, are expected to expand their investment in infrastructure to provide stimulus to their economy.

Sales of sedimentation and centrifugation equipment, including clarifiers, centrifuges and hydro cyclones will be down slightly, according to McIlvaine, while the wastewater segment will grow by $30 million in 2009 to over $1 billion. Infrastructure stimulus benefits are also expected to boost this market, but figure to be offset by mining market shrinkage.

Cross-flow filtration sales will be up due to continued growth in wastewater and desalination, as total sales are expected to exceed $9 billion in 2009 despite slumping sales in the residential reverse osmosis segment. McIlvaine believes desalination expenditures in some smaller Middle Eastern countries may be slowed, but on balance this segment will continue to grow.

Finally, sales of air and water monitoring equipment will grow modestly, according to McIlvaine, with the measurement of ambient pollution in developing countries viewed as a strong growth area. McIlvaine says China, for example, will continue to improve its stack monitoring efforts.

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