People walk in a desalination plant during its inauguration in the coastal city of Hadera, north of Tel Aviv May 16, 2010..
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)
Seven local and international groups have submitted initial bids to construct the world’s largest desalination plant in Israel, the Finance Ministry announced on Sunday.
The public-private partnership project called Sorek 2, due to be completed by 2023, is expected to produce 200 million cubic meters of drinkable water per year, increasing the country’s annual desalinated water production to 785 million cu.m. – approximately 85% of Israel’s household and municipal water needs.
A cross-ministry committee featuring officials from the Finance Ministry, Energy Ministry and Water Authority will examine the seven bids submitted by Hutchison, Israel’s IDE and GES, China’s PMEC, France’s SUEZ, Spain’s Acciona in partnership with Israel’s Allied, and Spain’s Aqualia in partnership with Israel’s WPI.
The existing Sorek desalination plant, located approximately 15 km. south of Tel Aviv, has been in operation since 2013 and produces approximately 150 million cu.m. of potable water annually. At its commission, Sorek was the largest reverse-osmosis desalination plant in the world.
“The new facility, expected to be the largest of its kind worldwide, will increase the production of desalinated water in Israel by approximately 25% and will thereby assist the water industry in coping with the continuing deterioration of the country’s natural water resources,” said accountant-general Rony Hizkiyahu.
“The Accountant-General’s Department, together with the equivalent branches of the Finance Ministry and other ministry partners, will continue to act to advance projects in partnership with the private sector as part of the national infrastructure strategy until 2030,” said Hizkiyahu.
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