A subsidiary of Mekorot – Israel's National Water Company inaugurated on Wednesday a 50 million Euro desalination plant in Limassol, Cyprus, that will be capable of providing local residents with between 40,000 and 60,000 cubic meters a day for the next 20 years.
Within the framework of an agreement with the Cypriot government's Cyprus Water Development department, Mekorot will be operating the facility through its subsidiary Mekorot Development and Enterprise. Initially, the desalination plant will supply local residents with 40,000 cubic meters of water daily, with the possibility of increasing that output to 60,000, according to the company. Despite the 50 million Euro construction cost, the operational turnover of the facility is expected to produce about 8 million Euros annually.
“In a challenging reality, in which many countries are facing an existing or expected shortage of water, the solutions which Mekorot has to offer are of great importance," said Mekorot CEO Shimon Ben-Hamo. "Israel and Cyprus, two countries small in size but large in their vision – prove that a disadvantage can be made into an advantage thanks to the common [desire for] a fruitful and prosper life."
A port city, Limassol is located in the center of Cyprus's southern shore. Wednesday's launch ceremony took place in the presence of Ben-Hamo, as well as Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom, Cypriot Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Nicos Kouyialis and the director of Cyprus Water Development Kyriacos Kyrou.
Constructing the plant in partnership with two local firms on the ground, Mekorot Development and Enterprise will hold 50% of the plant operation revenues, while the two Cypriot companies, LOGICOM and DEMETRA, will hold 33.5% and 16.5% respectively.
In addition to the work constructing the Limassol plant, Mekorot Development and Enterprise and its Cypriot partnership are also currently upgrading a second seawater desalination plant in Lanarca, located on the country's eastern coast. There, the companies revamping the desalination plant so that it is capable of supplying 60,000 cubic meters of water to the city's residents daily, for the next 25 years. The investment in this project amounts to 17 million Euros in total, with an estimated annual turnover rate of 7 million Euros, the companies said.
Through the Limassol and Larnaca desalination projects, Mekorot will be partaking in the supply of about 40% of the island's water consumption, in an effort to curb the increasingly problematic water shortages that Cyprus faces, a statement from Mekorot explained.
"We not only see in Cyprus a neighbor, but a partner to economic projects as well," Shalom said. "The new plant in Limassol and the plant in Larnaca, are further evidence that Israel has great technological and human strength."
Shalom praised Mekorot for the company's devotion "to providing solutions to friends in the region and across the globe," which he said he views as a "commitment to present and future generations."