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Press Release 2007

2007/Mar/05

To Become a Largest-scale Supplier with Best-in-Class High-performance Product

Nitto Denko Group’s Reverse Osmosis Membrane Adopted for Large-scale Seawater Desalination Plant Projects

Japan’s leading diversified materials company Nitto Denko Corporation (Nitto Denko) and its fully owned U.S. subsidiary Hydranautics (“ND/HY” collec- tively) have landed a contract to supply their “SWC5” high-performance reverse osmosis (RO) filtration membrane elements for a seawater desalination plant to be constructed on the Mediterranean coast in Algeria, north Africa, a country suffering from chronic water shortage. The contracted volume of the elements to be supplied to this Algerian plant is of a largest-scale for a single project, the companies say.

Located in Oceanside, California, Hydranautics is an innovative membrane technology company which was acquired by Nitto Denko in 1987. SWC5 is ND/HY’s state-of-the-art RO membrane element characterized by high permeate flow and high salt rejection.

With a contract award also being expected for another Algerian desalination plant project, the total monetary amount of the Algerian contracts is expected to far exceed ¥2 billion ($16.7 million), the ND/HY group says. Moreover, having won supply contracts for desalination projects also in Spain and Mexico, ND/HY will achieve the position of the world’s largest-scale supplier of seawater desalination RO membranes, they point out.

Outline oline of Seawater Desalination Projects to Be Supplied by ND/HY

1. Algeria

1) Skikda Water Production capacity : 100,000 ㎥/day
    On-stream schedule : 2008
2) Beni Safe Water Production capacity : 200,000 ㎥/day
    On-stream schedule : 2008


According to World Health Organization (WHO), Algeria is in a “water- stressed” situation whereby the annual usable amount of safe water for daily living per capita is less than 1,700 ㎥. Without instituting an early countermeasure to this problem, that figure is projected to worsen, to less than 1,000 ㎥ per capita by 2025. In countering such a water shortage situation, the role of seawater desalination is expected to increase further, and in fact the construction of more desalination plants is being planned in Algeria going forward.

2. Spain

Escombreras Water Production capacity : 64,000 ㎥/day
  On-stream schedule : Spring 2007

Because of the changes in the political climate and serious potable water shortage, a desalination plant is being built on an emergency basis on a 25-year BOO contract under which a private sector contractor builds, owns and operates a public desalination plant.

3. Mexico

Los Cabos Water Production capacity : 17,300 ㎥/day
  On-stream schedule : Oct. 2007

Potable water will be supplied to more than 60,000 residents in this semi-desert area in Baja California on the west coast of Mexico.

As a result of supplying the RO membrane elements for the above-mentioned projects, ND/HY will be the world’s largest-scale producer of RO membranes for seawater desalination capable of producing a total of 19,000,000 ㎥/day or more of clean water. The group intends to further supply high-performance products from now on to those countries and areas in the world which are suffering from water shortage.

Features of SWC5

The basic concept behind the development of SWC5 launched this time consists of high flow and high salt rejection. In general, high flow and high salt rejection are in a mutual trade-off relationship. However, SWC5 successfully achieves high flow without significantly sacrificing salt rejection. This high flow makes it possible to apply operating pressures lower than the conventional pressures when purifying seawater, to help drive better economics in seawater desalination as a result.

(Note) SWC5 demonstrates a salt rejection of 99.8% and a flow rate of 34 ㎥/day under ND/HY’s evaluation conditions.

Outline and Plans Going Forward of Nitto Denko’s Membrane Business

Operating on leading-edge technology platform, ND/HY has a highest-class share of the world market for RO membrane elements making ultrapure water for industrial and clean water for public utilities applications. The group has always had a particularly high achievement record in the fields of ultrapure water production, seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation.

The group intends to provide total solutions to customers in the water treatment membranes field by not only promoting its RO membrane elements business but also accelerating business development and product line-up expansion in the fields of pretreatments applications of microfiltration (MF) as well as ultrafiltration (UF), and on to membrane bioreactors (MBRs).

Contact Us

For any inquiries about this press release.

Brand Strategy Dept. 
Nitto Denko Corporation
TEL:+81-6-7632-2101
FAX:+81-6-7632-2568
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