Eco Innovator March 2012
International Investment in
An Australian water treatment
technology has caught the eye of an international venture capital investor
with clean-tech company BioGill securing a multi-million dollar investment
through BW Ventures, a subsidiary of the global maritime group BW Group.
The exact amount was not disclosed, but BW Ventures has a substantial
BioGill chief executive, John
West, said BioGill was approached by BW Ventures, which found its technology
in a cleantech directory and was attracted by its unique nature and applications
in the marine sector.
The investment will create
opportunities in the maritime market for BioGill as it combines the company's
leading edge water treatment technology with BW's expertise and capabilities.
"The investment by BW Ventures puts BioGill on a strong footing for
full commercialization of our patented technology and rapid global expansion,"
said Mr West.
Sverre Prytz, managing director,
BW Ventures, said "The BioGill technology has significant market
potential for maritime application. With BW Ventures' involvement, we
are opening doors to more effective water management solutions onboard
vessels and offshore platforms."
The BioGill system treats grey
water, sewage and wastewater from shipping, aquaculture, food and beverage
processing and other industrial streams.
Mr West said the technology
was developed at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
(ANSTO) and harnesses the decomposing abilities of micro- organisms.
Over the past two years BioGill's
focus has been on turning the technology into a product. This has now
been achieved. It is market ready and the first projects are in Sydney
The bioreactor differs from
other systems as it is above ground and so does not need oxygen. The vertical
membranes or BioGills encourage self sustaining bacteria growth and the
system needs zero maintenance, he said.
A BioGill water treatment
system at an eco-tourist park in Sydney.
The Nano-Ceramic Membranes
provide oxygen-rich conditions for bacteria and fungi to grow and multiply,
resulting in accelerated treatment.
The simple and efficient design
also requires considerably less energy than conventional biological wastewater
Trials and commercial installations
have yielded positive results with up to 96 per cent reductions in biological
oxygen demand - an indication of the organic quality of water.
Retrofitting into existing
wastewater treatment systems is a low-cost way to greatly improve treatment
capacity. The versatile design is said to offer additional benefits in
Mr West said that if all goes
well, BioGill will look at an initial public offering in two to three
BW Ventures invests early and
growth stage "industrial venture capital" in businesses and
technologies with maritime potential. It focuses primarily on the power,
oil and gas, and clean-tech sectors.
The investment in BioGill is
through Green Marine Capital (GMC), which invests in unique technologies
with an environmental value proposition, significant market potential,
scaleable business model, strong management team and a clear application
in the marine environment.
Incorporated in Bermuda, BW
Ventures has regional offices in Singapore and Oslo with affiliated offices
in India, Philippines, Brazil, and Houston.
BW Ventures is part of BW Group,
a global maritime group involved in offshore gas and power production
BioGill is also working with
Q-Cells Australia to develop a wastewater treatment technology powered
by the sun. This would make the BioGill systems available to remote users
in developing nations, mining sites and resort developments.