Strategy: Capitalize on the growing demand for clean water, taking advantage of the characteristics of dry, sunny areas where fresh water is typically under-supplied. There is little doubt as to the market potential and need for efficient desalinization systems.
Product: Saltworks’ patent pending technology employs a Thermo-Ionic energy conversion system that uses up to 80 percent less electrical/mechanical energy relative to leading desalination technologies. Essentially the plant would have similar up front capital costs as other systems yet require significantly less energy to operate.
Market: Global Water Intelligence (GWI), a leading industry tracker, estimates the desalination capital market is worth $103 billion in capital investment to 2016 and growing at an increasing rate. Saltworks’ potential advantage in hot weather and high electricity price environments defines the addressable market. Initial assessments, using industry reviewed market data, value the addressable market at over $2 billion in 2012 and growing to $6.5 billion by 2016. Saltworks is presently focusing on small plants less then 100,000 L/day capacity for initial uptake. Industry data indicates this segment to be 60 per cent of the overall global market.
Competition: Applied Process Technology and several firms in Israel: See also: https://cleaninvest.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/why-invest-in-water/
Funding: Primarily from government sources, partnerships with BC Hydro, and the BC Innovative Clean Energy Fund.
Stock Symbol: Private (firm recently emerged from stealth mode)
Management: Ben Sparrow and Josh Zoshi. Ben and Josh are friends who met while at Simon Fraser University’s MBA program in Vancouver.
Comment: Much like solar, the desalinization market holds tremendous potential that thrives on technological innovation. If this technology is truly 80% more efficient than competing technologies, we should be seeing much more of Saltworks in the near future. Success is dependent upon execution and technology.