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Strengthening the competitive edge of Kubota pumps for seawater desalination plants Full-scale entry into Reverse Osmosis (RO) System business by introducing the new main high-pressure pump into our full line-up of products

October 3, 2011

Kubota Corporation (Head Office: Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO: Yasuo Masumoto) launched newly improved high-pressure pumps in October 2011. These pumps are for application in a desalination system, which is the core equipment of seawater desalination plants that use reverse osmosis (RO) systems. Kubota is expanding its full line-up of pumps for desalination plants and strengthening sales activities in the continuously growing market of seawater desalination.

1. Background and aim

  • Increasing global demand for water means that seawater desalination plants are being actively built.
  • Recently, where factors such as energy efficiency are taken into account, there has been a shift from the traditional desalination method in which the water is produced from evaporated seawater, to a method of desalinating seawater through an RO membrane, or the "reverse osmosis membrane method."
  • The processes of the reverse osmosis membrane method are broadly divided into three:
    1. Water Intake System that takes in the seawater,
    2. Distillation System that produces fresh water by passing the seawater through an RO membrane,
    3. Water Supply System where the fresh water produced is transported.
  • We have so far been supplying pumps for the intake system and the water supply system of plants that use the evaporation method and the reverse osmosis membrane method. However, recently we have been investing in optimizing high-pressure pumps based on our existing multi-stage pressure pumps. These pumps are used in the water production systems, mainly in plants that apply the reverse osmosis membrane method. Armed with a package proposal of three systems, we will increase the amount of orders received in the expanding reverse osmosis membrane market.

2. Specifications and features of product

(1) Specifications

Standard bore 150 mm to 300 mm
Total head 500 m to 800 m
Discharge rate 4,800 m3/day to 28,800 m3/day
Material Super Duplex Stainless Steel (or Duplex Stainless Steel)

(2) Features

  • The shape of the internal casing is optimized, therefore improving its efficiency. In this way, the cost of producing water with the reverse osmosis method is halved, thus contributing to a reduction in electric power cost.
  • The pump employs a structure that considers aspects of maintenance such as replacement of parts, and use of durable material and parts in areas such as bearings and sliding parts. Thus, the pump helps to reduce maintenance costs.
  • While improving it's performance, we redesigned the pump to have a simple and compact structure. This also reduces the initial costs involved.

3. Future outlook

  • Including other related products, we aim to obtain orders worth approximately 4 billion yen per year after two years in the overall seawater desalination market.
  • In addition, we plan to move forward with the development of energy recovery systems, and have a full-line-up of pumps for all the four systems used in the processes of the reverse osmosis membrane method, which are intake systems, water production systems, water transport systems, and also energy recovery systems. We are working towards optimizing the entire process of RO membrane seawater desalination, which is possible through having a full line-up of products, and aiming to strengthen our competitiveness.
Contact for enquiries regarding the above products
  • International Pump Sales and Engineering Dept., Pumps Division, Kubota Corporation

    TEL: +81-3-3245-3444

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