Brisbane water treatment business going swimmingly in the Middle East
Brisbane-based company Australian Innovative Systems (AIS) is continuing to grow its export business designing and manufacturing chlorine generators for water disinfection to one of the world’s most environmentally challenged and water-starved regions - the Middle East.
AIS’s technology has been employed in two high-profile Middle Eastern projects - the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai and Al Forsan International Sports Resort Lakes in Abu Dhabi. AIS is in further discussion regarding a number of other projects for the 2012-13 financial year.
As part of the Queensland Government’s Export Week, Abu Dhabi-based Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Susan Rae, and Ray Matta, Queensland’s Trade and Investment Business Manager Middle East, visited one of AIS’s three manufacturing facilities at Tingalpa.
Rae is already familiar with the company’s innovative water treatment technology and manufacturing practices. AIS directors Kerry and Elena Gosse have been visiting the UAE and Saudi Arabia for several years on business, most recently in April 2012 as part of a trade mission led by Rae and Matta. The mission coincided with AIS attending the Project Qatar construction and environmental technology exhibition.
Rae said that innovative, environmentally sustainable technology companies such as AIS were well poised to take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle East.
“AIS is one of the many Queensland-based companies that is achieving excellent business outcomes in the UAE,” Rae said.
“Trade and Investment Queensland’s Abu Dhabi office has been pleased to support AIS for the past five years, through business matching, export advice and trade missions. As sustainability and innovative water technologies are highly regarded in the UAE, AIS’s award-winning products are really hitting the mark.
“I am really pleased to be able to visit the AIS factory with Ray today to see for myself how the products are manufactured.”
Gosse said that in 2007 her company set its business sights firmly on the Middle East, in particular the UAE, in recognition of the critical water supply issues inherent to the region.
“Although many people associate the UAE with lavish architecture and luxurious shopping, the reality is that water is the real luxury. Four-fifths of the country is desert and subject to serious water supply and resource issues,” she said.
“In some areas there is also the problem of poor water management due to overuse by industries such as agriculture. The undersupply and overuse issue is a severe social, economic and environmental threat. For many people there is limited access to sanitary water and for those who do have it, it can be prohibitively expensive.
“Progressive businesses in the region are looking to countries such as Australia for innovative, cost-effective water treatment solutions. I believe that AIS is leading the way with water technology at present.”
AIS’s business journey into the Middle East has been a rapid one. By 2008, the company had modified its Australian salt water chlorine generator (marketed as Autochlor) to better suit the harsher environmental and higher salinity water conditions of the region. Autochlor uses only salt, water and electricity to produce sterilised water suitable for use in swimming pools, water parks, water features, etc. The company’s innovation was rewarded that same year with a Silver International Gaia Award, a Dubai-based awards program which honours environmental sustainability in the construction industry.
By 2009, AIS had developed what is claimed to be the world’s first inline, on-site chlorine generator (marketed as Ecoline) capable of producing sterilised, potable water from fresh water utilising the minute amounts of minerals and salts already present in the water. Ecoline’s applications include drinking water treatment, food processing plants, water features, cooling towers, freshwater swimming pools and irrigation water. The company took home the 2009 Gold Award Gaia Award, plus a host of other international awards for the product.
With the Grand Hyatt and Al Forsan International Sports Resort Lakes projects realised by 2010, in 2012, as part of the Project Qatar trade mission, the company met with several new business prospects. One was PROTEC, a Qatar-based, specialised industrial and technical engineering company offering products and services to a vast array of clients in the Gulf Region. AIS and PROTEC signed an agreement in September 2012 for PROTEC to market and sell AIS’s products.
Gosse said that AIS would continue to target business in the Middle East as well as large-scale Australian projects such as chlorine generation for the swimming pools required for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
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