Helsinki: A Finnish
water chemistry company has been roped in for a pilot project
aiming to solve the chronic problem of arsenic water in India.
"We have been asked by India's ministry of rural development to
start a pilot scheme to solve the problem of arsenic water in
India," Aija Jaitunen, general manager - municipal and industrial
- of Finnish water chemistry major Kemira told a visiting IANS
For starters, the company has identified seven states in India -
Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and
West Bengal - as arsenic water-prone.
Kemira is among a host of Finnish companies that have ventured
into the business of clean energy and technology and values India
as a market with huge potental.
"Kemira has technology for water desalination plants focused on
reducing operating costs and energy consumption," Jaitunen said.
The company's technology for removal of arsenic from water
includes oxidation and sedimentation, coagulation and filtration,
adsorptive filtration and membrane filtration.
"People are used to using ground water as the primary source of
drinking water and tube wells are well accepted," Jaitunen said.
He, however, added that demand for water in India as well as in
China is more for agriculture than for municipal (drinking) and
Kemira is among 100 Finnish companies that are operating in India.
In 2010, it signed a 51-49 percent joint venture pact with
Hyderabad-based engineering and construction firm IRVCL to supply
chemicals to the latter's water treatment plants.
The company is building a water treatment chemicals manufacturing
unit called Kemira Indus-Coagulant Manufacturing at Vishakapatnam,
which is set to become operational by the beginning of 2013.
"Once our Vizag plant starts next year, we will start exporting
from there to other countries as well," Jaitunen said.
An over two billion-euro company, Kemira was originally a
chemicals manufacturing major that later shifted focus to clean
It marked its first success in clean water technology with a lake
restoration project in Finland in 2002, when it successfully
chemical treated lake Kirkkojarvi. The lake's water is now clean
enough to drink directly.
In India, apart from water treatment, Kemira is also involved in a
clean sanitation programme.
In association with community development organisation Plan India,
the company has started a project for giving access to toilets to
schoolchildren at Garsain in Uttrakhand.
Called WASH, the project is focused on maintaining and expanding
water and sanitation in 30 target area schools there, especially
keeping the girl child in mind.
Kemira's projects are being supported by Tekes, the public-funded
Finnish agency for technology and innovation.
"Tekes supports various Finnish companies that are operating in
India," said Auli Pere, chief advisor of Tekes.
"These companies are operating in the fields of health and
well-being, learning solutions, water treatment, information and
communications technology (ICT) and energy and environment," she
"Kemira is an important company in the realm of water supply and
sanitation and providing toilets in rural areas," Pere said.