SIEMENS EXPANDS USFILTER'S GLOBAL REACH

After the acquisition of USFilter Corp. a little more than a year ago, Siemens plans to further integrate the USFilter portfolio into its global operations to benefit from the brand awareness and know-how of the leading water treatment company in the U.S.

"The increased capabilities resulting from the acquisition enable Siemens to offer more comprehensive solutions for municipal and industrial markets," said Dr. Roger Radke, CEO of Siemens Water Technologies and USFilter Corp. during a meeting at WEFTEC.05®

According to Radke, as stringent environmental standards for water and wastewater treatment are being introduced across the globe, pressure continues to grow on existing facilities for the treatment of clean drinking and process water, safe industrial effluents, sewage, and the resultant sludge.

"Siemens offers a broad range of products and services for the water industry as being a new focus of its contribution to securing the development of cities, regions and industry today and in the years to come," Radke said.

In the United States, new standards are forcing the domestic water industry to increase investment in technology upgrades and system expansion at a faster pace after years of relative inactivity. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan study, the overall spending on water in the United States grew by only 2 percent between 1992 and 2003, while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that $138 billion is required by 2016 to upgrade or replace the water infrastructure. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently set projections over the next 20 years for investments on drinking water and wastewater systems in the U.S. with a low estimate of $24.6 billion annually.

"It's no wonder, then, that the industry has seen recent consolidation with the entry of large companies like Siemens AG which are able to capitalize on this opportunity by providing an expanded portfolio of solutions and services," Radke said. The Siemens Group Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S) purchased USFilter from Veolia Environnement in 2004, making it the cornerstone of the new Siemens Water Technologies global business -- which now generates nearly $1.9 billion in annual revenues.

The increased capabilities now enable Siemens to offer more comprehensive solutions for municipal and industrial markets in which the company historically served. Due to these synergies, Siemens subsidiaries in United States and Europe could book nearly $40 million for water-specific projects, which could not be realized before.

Radke outlined the company's plan to bring USFilter technology to global customers via the Siemens worldwide network of sales and service offices. "Siemens is present in 190 countries," he said. He also stressed innovation as a key to the company's growth plans, and announced formation of a new technology development group within the company. The group is charged with pulling all of the company's research and development efforts together, and tapping into the capability of Siemens Corporate Technologies and Research to bring new products and services to customers. He cited a recent survey, which showed that the supply of controls and technology from the same supplier was viewed positively by about 90 percent of respondents.

Effective Oct. 1, 2005, Siemens Water Technologies began integration of the primary I&S water business focused on electrical systems and drive technology, instrumentation, process control systems, IT technologies, and process engineering. "This new subdivision -- Electrical Systems & Automation -- extends our portfolio of USFilter with solutions for the water management," Radke said. "Coupled with Siemens expertise in automation and process control, the company is offering what our customers in the United States and worldwide want from a water treatment supplier."

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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