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Water Company of the Year

For the water company that made the most significant contribution to the development of the international water sector in 2019. See the full shortlist showreel here.

H2O Innovation

What is it?

A TSX-listed provider of water treatment systems, specialty products, and O&M services.

What has it done?

2019 was little short of an annus mirabilis for H2O Innovation. The company recorded record revenues, completed its biggest ever acquisition, and commissioned its largest membrane bioreactor plant to date, all while doubling down on bringing its unique value proposition to bear for an increasingly global customer base.

What makes it special?

H2O Innovation’s tailored M&A strategy reached new highs in 2019 with the acquisition of Genesys – its largest deal to date. The transaction means that H2O now boasts one of the biggest distribution networks for specialty chemicals in the world, marking a turning point in the group’s ability to deliver a broad array of membrane chemical solutions.

2019 was the year that H2O’s rapidly growing Piedmont couplings and filter housings business really showed the global desalination market what it is capable of.

 

The highlight on a long list of contract wins was the deal to supply filter housings to the 900,000m3/d facility at Taweelah in the UAE – set to be the largest membrane desalination plant in the world.

The genius of H2O Innovation’s dynamic leadership team has been to encourage the three pillars of the business to work in harmony to deliver a uniquely tailored value proposition. No company, large or small, did more last year to earn the respect of its competitors and its clients.

Distinction

Kurita Water Industries

What is it?

A $2.5 billion-a-year Tokyo-listed supplier of water treatment chemicals and treatment systems.

What has it done?

Kurita celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2019 by showing the world that it has never been more serious about going global. Its structured acquisitions programme gained momentum with the purchase of U.S. Water Services and Avista Chemicals, it appointed a local company veteran as its new CEO in Europe, and even delivered a water recycling system for testing on the International Space Station.

What makes it special?

Many Asia-domiciled water companies have made bold claims about conquering the global market. Kurita has made it a reality. Last year, it consolidated its growing footprint in the US by buying industrial treatment solutions provider U.S. Water Services, and broadened its offering in reverse osmosis chemicals by snapping up Avista Technologies, taking it further into Europe and the Middle East.

Kurita underscored its commitment to the digital water market in 2019 by leading an $11 million funding round in US-based intelligent water management specialist Apana, while U.S. Water launched the Lumyn digital platform for proactive water system management.

 

Its internal product development engine was also functioning at full throttle, as Kurita Japan rolled out its Dropwise condensation technology, which improves heat transfer efficiency in heat exchangers.

As a supplier of bespoke treatment systems, Kurita has set its sights far beyond mere land-based applications, supplying a water recycling demonstration system to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in 2019, for use on the International Space Station. It uses ion exchange, electrolysis and electrodialysis to turn astronauts’ urine into potable water, weighs 75% less than conventional systems, and uses half the power. One giant leap towards the future of manned space flight.

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