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Market in numbers

Around 50% of population has access to sewage network. Only 60% of the sewage is treated. Within the study, some municipalities were selected based on their potential for development of sanitation systems, which generates interesting possibilities of business for Swedish companies. Nonetheless, the market analysis looked into Steel, Pulp & Paper and Food & Beverages industries seeking to understand how the companies are dealing with waste water treatment.

Minas Gerais and São Paulo concentrate most investments

Brazil has over 5 564 municipalities which makes the process of identifying potential difficult. We have used two methods based on macro data to reach a first conclusion; starting with a selection of state and later reaching municipal level.

The selection of states was based on 4 criteria; high percentage of population attended by sewage network, high water prices, high percentage of state GDP invested in waste water treatment and high percentage of state population with sewage network but no waste water treatment. The results showed greatest potential in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. For the selection of municipalities other 4 criteria were evaluated; high population size, high GDP per capita, presence of finalized sanitation plan and involvement with new projects.

Stimulated by resources from the federal government, municipalities have written a sanitation plan to map the current situation and develop investments plan. Larger municipalities such Juiz de Fora are planning investments in their sewage network around130 million BRL.

In the state of São Paulo, the municipalities of São Bernardo do Campo and Mogi das Cruzes are planning high investments, 24 and 13.5 million BR respectively.

Prioritized municipalities in Minas Gerais:

  • Ouro Preto has a population of 70.281 inhabitants, 25.413 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and 7 ongoing projects. It will invest around 17 million BRL in 4 new waste water treatment stations.
  • Muriaé has a population of 100.765 inhabitants, 8.800 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and 5 ongoing projects. It will invest around 8 Million BRL in 4 new water treatment stations.
  • Juiz de Fora has a population of 516.247 inhabitants, 14.379 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and 3 ongoing projects. It will invest around 130 Million BRL in waste water treatment.
  • Itabira has a population of 109.783 inhabitants, 25.673 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and 2 ongoing projects. It will invest around 20 Million BRL in waste water treatment.

Prioritized municipalities in São Paulo:

  • São Bernardo do Campo has a population of 765.463 inhabitants, 47.000 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and it will invest around 24 Million BRL in waste water treatment.
  • Osasco has a population of 666.740 inhabitants, 59.000 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and it will invest around 6 Million BRL in waste water treatment.
  • Mogi das Cruzes has a population of 387.779 inhabitants, 25.000 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and it will invest around 13.5 Million BRL in waste water treatment.
  • Barueri has a population of 240.749 inhabitants, 133.000 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and it will invest around 7 Million BRL in waste water treatment.
  • Cotia has a population of 201.150 inhabitants, 35.000 BRL GDP per capita, has a sanitation plan and it will invest around 2 Million BRL in waste water treatment.

Steel industry has largest reutilization rate compared to pulp & paper and food & beverages

The reutilization rate was 96.5% for the steel industry in 2012. The sector captured about 3.5% of the total water used in the productive process. In the same year, the industry used a total of 4.9 billion m³ of freshwater. 75% of water usage is associated to cooling processes, 13% to pollution control and 12% to the conditioning of material.

Four companies account for 81% of crude steel production, and are concentrated in the Southeast region. Around 77% of production units use some type of biological treatment. Arcelor Mittal Brasil, for an example, has invested more than 30 million BRL in water treatment equipment.

The average of water reuse was only 34% for the pulp & paper industry. In 2010, the total consumption of the sector was of 668 million m³. In the last 20 years, the industry reduced its relative water consumption from 80 to 25 m³ per tons of produced good. It is estimated that pulping process produces 62 million m³ of effluents a year. Companies such as Suzano and Klabin reuse around 34% of waste water. Meanwhile, Fibria is able to recycle 76%. These three companies control 64% of Brazilian market and its units are concentrated to the Mid-South region. In the last years, they have invested around 6 million BRL each in the management of freshwater and effluents.

The southeast concentrates 40.6% of food & beverages companies, with more than 17.000 companies established. Medium and large companies account for more than 75% of total production value. In large companies, the percentage of treated water is superior to 98%. 3 companies hold around 80% of beverage industry. They have been reducing water consumption in the production, but reuse only around 20%. The reutilization and treatment of effluents is still low for most companies in this industry. The sector has grown an average of 18% per year and water treatment companies are investing in the sector by demand.