AQUA4D® + NGL: Two European Water Pioneers Join Forces

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AQUA4D® (Planet Horizons Technologies) and NGL Group (ABAQUE) announce a deep collaboration to offer a suite of water technologies for buildings and industry. With water scarcity growing across Europe and the world – and water use by industry and agriculture under particular scrutiny – this is a timely alliance which can help accelerate solutions for water efficiency.

An ideal match

NGL has specialized since the 1978 in high-precision ultra-sonic cleaning, growing in the 90s to work with CFC removal, using water-based cleaning to replace solvents. Now with subsidiaries in France, Denmark, Germany, Singapore, Shanghai and the USA, since 2013 they have focused on water technologies (ultra-filtration, recycling & wastewater treatment).

These areas of expertise – when combined with AQUA4D®’s 20-years’ experience in water treatment for buildings, industry, and agriculture – create a powerful combination of technologies and added value for customers.

The companies began exploring collaboration in early 2022, and sped things up when ABAQUE – the holding company of NGL’s CEO Jean-Michel Balmelle – invested in Planet Horizons Technologies, AQUA4D®’s parent company. “We are not dormant investors – we are industrials at heart,” says Jean-Michel Balmelle. “I don’t know how to invest in a business if I don’t have regular contact with the team. We believe so much in the technology that we decided to put significant resources in to support AQUA4D®’s needs and network.”

Water treatment synergies

One of the first movements was a distribution agreement between AQUA4D® and NGL France, to distribute AQUA4D® technology for industrial systems. According to Jean Michel Balmelle, there are numerous synergies between the two companies: “At NGL we always talk about surface tension, so when I heard about AQUA4D®’s ability to reduce this, it was extremely interesting. Along with its ability to improve conductivity and interaction with minerals, this could all have huge impacts in precision cleaning.”  In industrial contexts, AQUA4D® technology keeps systems free from biofilm and ensures minerals in the water are efficiently dissolved, preventing any adverse effects on the cleaning process. NGL is working with large players in the watch industry and medical implants industry and wants to offer this tech in their processes to make water use more efficient.

Beyond these operational synergies, the company CEOs are united by a common approach and outlook.  “Our mission has always been to sustainably improve the water efficiency of companies with a positive impact on the health of people and planet,” says AQUA4D®’s Eric Valette. NGL’s CEO Jean-Michel Balmelle has long shared this outlook, having been alerted to environmental instabilities in the 90s, seeing first-hand the depleted glaciers when living in Chile. “I feel a strong compulsion to do something, and we have a duty as entrepreneurs,” he believes. “Business is not only business, it is about trying to make things better. If we put money into companies who can solve the problems, we can turn things around, and help reduce the impact of climate changes and water issues.”

Bright prospects

The collaboration has already yielded significant results, with impressive results in a short time at a leading medical devices manufacturer in France, where an AQUA4D® solved long-standing issues with algae and pipe blockages. NGL are also conducting important R&D at their Nyon base, looking at several factors including side-by-side comparisons between Reverse Osmosis (RO) and AQUA4D®, as well as the potential for AQUA4D® in wastewater treatment, water re-use, and mining processes.

“We are proud of this partnership with NGL and see great synergies, especially with their water treatment division, to bring AQUA4D®’s demonstrated benefits to this industrial sector more quickly,” says AQUA4D®’s Eric Valette. “We share the same vision and the same desire for development. It is obvious that with their reputation, their expert team and their motivation, great steps are ahead of us, for an ever more sustainable and efficient industry.”

“We are now in an interesting moment for the industry, a tipping point,” adds Jean-Michel Balmelle. “Regulations and investment are changing, along with people’s awareness too with widespread drought and energy crises. There are now huge incentives to improve processes, and both NGL and AQUA4D® are well-placed to do this and take advantage.”


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