The project is intended to rehabilitate and purify the river from debris and sewage that has been pumped into it for decades from Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority. Financing will be given for 20 years in a syndication transaction in which Amitim, the organization that incorporates the eight Defined Benefit pension funds, will participate
The Kidron River Restoration Project, the largest and most impressive of the Judean Desert streams, flowing from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, is designed to rehabilitate, collect and purify the river from debris and sewage that flowed into it for decades from Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority, and made it one of the most polluted streams in the country. Upon completion of the restoration work, the purified water will be used to irrigate orchards in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The cost of the project, initiated and managed by the Gihon and Mabati companies, amounts to NIS 830 million.The Kidron project, which was recognized by the government as a national project, was launched several months ago and is expected to be completed in 2023. As part of this, damaged sewerage infrastructure will be restored and replaced, waste will be disposed of, and a new sewage treatment infrastructure will be laid, with a cumulative length of about 40 km from Jerusalem to the “Og” sewage treatment plant near the Dead Sea, where the water will be treated.
Avi Balashnikov, chairman of the Gihon Corporation and Mabati, said: “For more than 70 years, 15 km of the stream, whose source is a seasonal stream, was an environmental and health hazard, and now, after administrative work, in which we integrated all government officials and many other bodies, we are launching the Kidron River Rehabilitation Project, which will make it an environmental, heritage and tourism resource at the level it deserves.” Balashnikov added, “This is one of the largest and most challenging national projects in the field of water and sewage infrastructure in the Middle East, in recent decades.”
Yael Kfir, head of Leumi’s business division, said: “The project financing is part of Leumi’s strategy to lend to national infrastructure projects in Israel in general, and green infrastructure projects that contribute to the quality of life and the environment in particular. It joins other national infrastructure projects that Leumi has been selected to lead in recent months, such as project financing for the IDF’s unified supply center, to be established by the Shapir and Orian companies, and funding for the establishment of Sorek 2, owned by IDE Technologies, which will be the largest desalination facility of its kind in the world. We intend to continue to lead the field of national infrastructure financing in Israel in 2021.”