De.mem sees a positive year ahead following a strong 2017

This article was first published in the March 2018 issue of Membrane Technology newsletter.
This article was first published in the March 2018 issue of Membrane Technology newsletter.

Singaporean-Australian decentralised water and wastewater treatment company De.mem Ltd ended 2017 in a strong position by winning additional contracts in Australia and is anticipating another successful year in 2018.

The contracts, worth approximately $A800 000, were awarded to the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Akwa-Worx Pty Ltd, based in Caboolture, Queensland. De.mem officially expanded into Australia after acquiring Akwa-Worx in September 2017.

‘We have been very pleased to see the momentum in our projects business,’ commented Andreas Kroell, CEO, De.mem.

Amongst the customers for the most recent contracts awarded to De.mem is Ausco Modular Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s largest construction companies using modular technology.

The scope of work for this project includes the delivery of equipment, primarily storage tanks that are containerised and mobile systems for potable water or sewage.

Kroell believes that this momentum will carry over into 2018.

He said: ‘The outlook for 2018 is good. Along with these consistent wins we are continuing to develop the technology side of our business, which includes our innovative nanofilter membranes.’

De.mem says that it is hoping that the contracts it has recently won in Australia’s mining and construction industries will help it to pursue similar opportunities that it is exploring in China.

Kroell continued: ‘We signed an agreement with Virtual Curtain China Ltd (VCCL) in November. It enables De.mem to jointly pursue imminent market opportunities in the Chinese nuclear, mining and minerals, and coal-to-chemical sectors. Our recent work in Queensland and technology portfolio is complementary to opportunities in China.’

With an estimated market size of A$20 billion, China is the world’s largest producer of wastewater, generating approximately 68 billion tonnes a year. In 2015, the Chinese government implemented the “Water Ten Plan” – a series of measures that focus on controlling pollution, promoting water treatment science and technology, enforcing laws and regulations, and improving overall water quality.

‘De.mem is currently exploring ways of commercialising its nano-filter membrane for use in China,’ said Kroell.

‘We see plenty of opportunities for our company at the moment, but China is something we will continue to work on this year. There is clearly a huge potential market there for us.’

Since June 2016 De.mem has held an exclusive worldwide licence from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for the use of its breakthrough nano-filter membrane technology.

The low-pressure hollow-fibre nanofiltration membrane can reduce energy consumption by up to 80%, compared with conventional water treatment processes, making it more efficient and cost-effective, says the firm. It also set up a new factory specifically for the production of the nano-filter membrane and membrane modules in July 2017. Both NTU and the factory are located in Singapore.

In October, the company started the first pilot-scale water treatment plants, in which the new membrane is used, in Singapore and Vietnam.

‘We were pleased to set up membrane production so soon after listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX),’ said Kroell. ‘Along with our expansion into Australia, it was one of our major milestones for 2017. It was an excellent year for the company and we are looking forward to what 2018 will bring.’

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