The interministerial tender committee for desalination plants issued the tender for the 150 million cubic meter per year installation on Tuesday to be built in the Sorek area. The plant will be one of the biggest reverse osmosis desalination plants in the world when it is completed. Four companies passed the initial round and were invited to bid for the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) project. For the first time, a specific environmental segment was added to the bidding process. Companies will have to show how they would use recycled materials, minimize energy use, maximize land use and a variety of other factors. The committee also relieved a Mekorot daughter company of the need to re-bid for the Ashdod plant it is constructing because the company has met the timetable set out for it. The Ashdod and Sorek plants would be the fourth and fifth desalination plants in Israel following Ashkelon, Palmahim and Hadera.