It was boom or bust for EColoRO
EColoRO washes our water clean. The company is located in the Johannes de Doperkerk in Leeuwarden, the nesting ground for water technological companies. It focusses primarily on the textile industry. The company was founded in 2013 and now we are taking on the dirty water 9 people strong.
EColoRO focuses on the textile industry in Turkey, Europe and Bangladesh because here the industry is still highly polluting to the environment. The polluted and stained water from the factories is often discharged into open bodies of water. EColoRo is able to greatly reduce the pollution and the colouring and also enable the factories to re-use the water for the most part. Eric van Sonsbeek is the director of EColoRO.
What is is that you do at EColoRO?
Van Sonsbeek: ‘We have an installation that purifies the water using electrocoagulation followed by a membrane filtration that purify and remove the colour pigments at the same time. If we speak to a potential customer they always initially feel like this is going to be an expensive venture. However when it becomes clear to them that this is actually a money-making process it becomes interesting. Often there is a shortage of water and it often also needs to be transported long distances. In these cases our installation is a very economical solution’
What are the biggest obstacles you face?
Van Sonsbeek: ‘We started in 2013 and we currently have 3 owners, one of whom is very well acquainted with the Turkish market, unfortunately he is currently very ill. He took care of all business in Turkey and apart from the personal heartbreak it’s also a big blow to the company. Customers knew him and assumed he was going to die and therefore did not want to continue the partnership. In these situations it’s boom or bust for EColoRO, we could have given up but we chose to work at it and continue our efforts. We received a lot of support from colleagues and the local church. And now the forward momentum is back.
The big breakthrough is near?
Van Sonsbeek: ‘In 2015 we received a European grant (ProjectHorizon 2020, red.). After a year of experimenting the construction of a demonstration installation in Belgium will commence in September followed by another one in Italy. After this the sales in Europe can start’