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Wednesday June 19, 2013

Water way to expansion

BACTERIA Free Water Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd (BFWE) is looking to expand its footprint to Sabah and Sarawak this year to tap into the growing water filtration market in the country.

The company plans to establish sales offices in the two states later this year. The company is also hoping to grow its regional presence with offices in strategic locations in Asean.

BFWE technical director Dr Chee Chung Yee said the local water filtration market is estimated to be worth more than RM100mil per annum. He noted that about 10% of the domestic market comprised demand for rainwater harvesting systems while the remaining 90% was made up of demand for domestic water treatment filters.

BFWE was first established in 1982 as a distributor of potable drinking water filters using British technology.

The company has grown into a full solutions and system provider, providing water and waste water solutions for a variety of domestic, commercial and industrial applications.

“The water filtration market is growing strong owing to the compulsory usage of rainwater harvesting systems in commercial buildings, semi-detached houses and bungalows in Perak, Selangor, Johor Baru and the Federal Territories.

“We expect our revenue from rainwater harvesting systems to double this year, contributing about 20% of our targeted RM20mil revenue for 2013,” he said.

He believes revenue contribution from this segment will further grow to 40% in three years.

“Our product, marketed under the brandname Bacfree-Wisy, is from Germany. We are the product’s sole distributor for South-East Asia,” he said.

The product is made by WISY AG Germany, which is a leading international manufacturer of rainwater harvesting systems and accessories.

Dr Chee noted that the cost of installing a rainwater harvesting system had declined by about 20% compared to that of a year ago.

He said this would further stimulate the demand for the system.

According to Dr Chee, the company’s market share of the local rainwater harvesting system market sits at about 50%.

“For residential property, the cost of installing a rainwater harvesting system leveraging on gravity-feed without pumps is around RM2,000 to RM4,000, depending on the size of the project.

“For those with pumps, the cost is from RM6,000 to RM10,000 depending on the size of the residential property. For commercial projects, the cost ranges between RM50,000 and RM500,000,” he said.

A rainwater harvesting system harnesses rainwater for use in laundry, watering plants, car washing and toilet flushing, thereby reducing substantially the usage of municipal water.

The cost of installing a water filtration system for individual households is around RM800 to RM1,000, while for a large scale residential and commercial projects, the cost can range between RM20,000 and RM500,000, depending on the size of the project, Dr Chee explained.

“The cost has come down by about 50% compared to that of 10 years ago,” he added.

BFWE is also involved in large-scale residential and commercial projects. The company assembled the water filtration system in Subang Jaya.

“We import the components from Freshwater Filter in the UK, a company in which we own a 35% stake. We fabricate the software that controls the system.

“For those water filters used in individual households, we co-developed them with Freshwater Filter. These water filtration products for large scale projects and individual households are marketed under the Bacfree brandname,” he said.

The company has a 30% to 40% market share for water filtration system used in large scale residential and commercial projects.

On its newly opened Penang office, Dr Chee said Penang was a significant market, which contributed about 15% to the company’s RM15mil revenue for 2012.

“This is the reason we opened the new Penang office, so that we can better serve our customers here. In Penang, we have installed water filtration systems for several well-known condominium projects,” he said.

Dr Chee said that since 1982, the company has provided water filtration solutions to some 200,000 customers, with an estimated value of RM80mil to RM100mil.

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