Japanese papermaker Oji dives into water treatment
Chemical and membrane filtration system would cut facility setup costs
TOKYO -- Papermaker Oji Holdings is aiming to make a splash in water treatment operations with technology that can slash filtration plants' setup costs and multiply their efficiency, targeting tens of millions of dollars in annual sales across 40 locations in Southeast Asia and Japan.
The Tokyo-based company's filtration system combines chemicals and filtration membranes that it has developed. The chemicals cause pollutants in water to clump together, making them easier for the membranes to catch. This eliminates the need for sedimentation and filtration tanks used in conventional water treatment facilities, apparently slashing setup costs by two thirds and raising filtration capacity by a factor of four or more.
As Southeast Asian economies continue to grow, demand for industrial water is rising. So facilities that can, efficiently and at low cost, filter river and reservoir water mixed with dirty mud and algae are high in demand. Oji plans to bring its water treatment system to 20 locations in the region over the next five years, centered on such countries as Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
In Japan, Oji's filtration system will help purify wastewater of toxic substances, meeting tighter restrictions on cadmium levels under 2014 revisions to water pollution laws. The papermaker intends to introduce its system at 20 locations in Japan, mainly water treatment facilities, in the same five years.
Many paper companies have refined water treatment systems of their own, as they produce great quantities of wastewater in the manufacturing process. Oji will diversify its revenue streams by directly selling its own technology.