15 Largest Desalination Companies in the World

In this article we take a look at the 15 Largest Desalination Companies in the World. Click to skip ahead and jump to 5 Largest Desalination Companies in the World.

Freshwater needs are on an ever-rising trend around the world, and the pressure lies on the largest desalination companies in the world to mitigate the water stress. With over 97.5% of the total, earth water being saltwater and over one-third of the world still residing in areas experiencing water stress, seawater presents a huge potential to cater to the water demands of the world. Water is inevitable to human existence. It is an essential part of a healthy livelihood that we use at every point of our daily lives and yet, not even 1% of the world’s freshwater is accessible to us. That’s where desalination comes into picture – the process by which saltwater from the oceans is turned into freshwater for human use. With technology becoming widely available, desalination plants today are abundant and occupy a growing market. 

The desalination market is projected to grow at 9.5% and is expected to reach the $32 billion mark by 2025. Not surprising, as the growing global population keeps creating pressure on freshwater resources, which are not only limited, but often hard to access. Some areas are heavily dependent on desalination plants, even though the cost of operation might be high, as the next best would be to ship water which would ultimately be a more costly affair. Innovation and technology has made the process of desalination much cheaper to undertake, which is also why a lot of countries are looking to build desalination plants and several new players are entering the industry. As water is a basic need, the demand for it is hardly ever expected to fall, therefore desalination and water stocks are often safe and lucrative investments. 

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As focus shifts towards green investments, several oil and gas and utilities sector investments are becoming less attractive. Even as investors pull out of the largest energy companies for renewable alternatives, investors are looking to invest in the top desalination companies, and it is fast becoming one of the upcoming green investment channels to look out for. 

Traditionally water has been supplied through large-scale distribution models typically owned by governments or large companies. Being one of the heavy industries, structures have often been regulated as well. However, in recent years as climate change is becoming more evident and traditional suppliers are getting ever more strained, the collaborations between public and private companies also offer a huge potential. Large corporations like GE (NYSE:GE) and LG have been vying to enter the market with their desalination plants projects. 

French company Veolia (NYSE:VE) is one of the top players in our list of largest desalination companies that operates in water, environmental services and energy, with its desalination unit coming under the water management operations that accounts for 45% of the revenues for the company. However, along with large corporations several  new players have made a presence, including America’s AquaVenture Holdings (NYSE:WAAS) that has operations in desalination and other water purification techniques in a water-as-a-service (WAAS) model catering to the mainland United States and several Caribbean islands. 

While there are desalination projects coming up across the world, Saudi Arabia by far has the most number of desalination plants and is the largest consumer, while the United States comes a close second.  To determine the largest desalination companies in our present list we have used data provided by Global Water Intelligence, that provides a picture of companies with the largest number of project awards for desalination plants secured by the companies. We have further ranked the companies by their revenue to arrive at our list of key players. 

Let’s take a look at the largest desalination companies in the world. 

15. Biwater 

Revenue – $35 million

Wastewater solutions company, Biwater, delves in the desalination space with several plants and projects across the US and Middle East. The British company’s Desalination and Membrane Treatment Centre of Excellence in California has a global installed membrane treatment capacity of 1,703 million liters per day , which is equal to a whopping 681 Olympic size swimming pools per day!