The Indian Desalination market is expected to grow at a competitive pace, as the country will try to harness its 7500 KM long coastline to manage its water requirements. Besides, water-intensive industries such as power generation, metallurgy, oil & natural gas, food technology, etc. desalinated or desal water are also used for municipal requirements. Already in coastal states such as Gujrat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, etc., desalination business is picking up.
Desal is a USD 32 billion industry globally and is actively used in the water scare regions of the world such as Gulf countries and the wider Middle Eastern region. The Middle East region accounts for around a quarter of the total global market.
In India also it is becoming popular. Membrane processes such as Reverse Osmosis (alongside forwarding Osmosis and Electrodialysis) are popular tools for desalination in India. Besides, thermal processes such as vapor compression, multi-effect distillation, and multi-stage flash are also gradually gaining ground.
However, the former is generally cheaper and more popular. In processes such as Reverse Osmosis (RO), the price of water amounts to INR 40 (USD 0.55)/ KL. In thermal-based models, unless, cheaper steam is not available, the prices (OPEX) are many times higher.
The current capacity of Desal in Indian is roughly 1250 MLD (including under-construction projects) which amounts to a market value of around USD 1.26 billion. This is relatively small when compared to the global market that is pegged at around USD 32 billion.
However, like other parts of the world Desal has proved to bridge the water shortage gap. At the onset of the previous decade, the surface and underground water output in the city of Chennai was 985 MLD. In contrast, the daily requirement was to tune to 1200 MLD. To match the requirement, the first desal plant in India was established in Minjur, Chennai with a capacity of 100 MLD. Later on, another plant was made operational in Nemmeli with a capacity of 93 MLD. 3rd plant is also under construction in the city with an operational capacity of 150 MLD.
Reliance has installed a Desal capacity of 160 MLD in Gujarat. The state will continue to rely on desalination as a part of its long-term water management strategy to plug in the industrial needs. Recently, the state has announced around 8 plants with a cumulative capacity of 370 MLD.
Growth Drivers of the Desalination in India
Tail Winds for DESAL Industry