Modern Water’s China Deals Buoy Forward-Osmosis Pioneer

Modern Water Plc (MWG), which completed the world’s first commercial forward-osmosis desalination plant in Oman last year, won three contracts in China during a U.K. trade mission led by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The deals are “milestones for Modern Water’s work in China” the past five years that has targeted water shortages, energy efficiency and environmental protection, the Guildford, England-based company said in a statement. No terms were given.

A Beijing signing ceremony included the outlines of a three-way deal with Ottomen Estate Resources and Hangzhou Water for a 500 cubic meter a day forward-osmosis desalination plant on Xugong Island that would be the first in China. Hangzhou Water is China’s largest desalination equipment company.

Modern Water supplies advanced systems for water monitoring and treatment. It’s attempted to coax more companies to a membrane-based forward-osmosis technology that offers lower energy consumption for contaminated waters than rival reverse-osmosis water purifiers increasingly in demand in water-stressed regions including the Middle East.

The agreements follow China’s latest Five-Year Plan that “identified the need for a large increase in desalination capacity to help better control water shortages and improve environmental protection,” Modern Water said today. The shares climbed 16 percent, the most in a year, on more than six times the 90-day average volume to 42.25 pence in London trading.

“Modern Water is an excellent example of a small British business taking world-leading technology to China and securing significant deals,” Cameron said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Hackley in London at rhackley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net

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