Asia to account for 63% of ultrapure water market

Electronics and power are the two big industry segments in ultrapure water, and Asia dominates the semiconductor, flat panel display, memory storage and photovoltaic manufacturing industries. It is also the only continent with a big new coal-fired boiler generation programme, concludes the McIlvaine report.

In particular, the semiconductor market continues to replace obsolete facilities with new ones and the photovoltaic industry has substantial needs for ultrapure water and is growing at double-digit rates.

North American based companies currently account for 53% of the semiconductor ultrapure water purchased, but the end use locations are international. Japan and South Korea each account for 16% of the purchases based on home office location. Samsung is forecasting a US$41 billion investment in chip facilities in 2012.

The fastest growing market for ultrapure water in power is in China, where ultra-supercritical coal-fired boilers are being built at an unprecedented pace. In the 2010-2020 timeframe, China will outspend the US on new generators by US$550 billion, McIlvaine suggests. They will gain 496 GW of coal-fired generating capacity compared to only 14 GW in the US.

However, in the pharmaceutical sector the US will hold onto the leading position through 2017, according to the report, by purchasing a steady 31% of the world’s ultrapure water products. The average increase for all countries will be 30%. China will see a 260% increase from 2010 as its market share rises from 5% to 10% of the total market by 2017.