Li Ka-shing may tap Israel for oil-sands technology
05/05/2010 09:04

Hong Kong billionaire tells Steinitz he’s keen to invest in means of reducing pollution.

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing may invest in Israeli oil-sands companies to expand his interests in energy production.

Li’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. is keen to invest in oil-sands technology that limits environmental pollution, the billionaire told Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in a meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Husky Energy Inc., controlled by Li, will step up development of its oil-sands business as crude prices rise amid the global economic recovery, Hong Kong’s richest man said in March. Steinitz told Li he would see “whether there are Israeli solutions on the subject,” according to a statement from the Finance Ministry.

“Li expressed his appreciation of Israel’s technology,” the statement said.

Husky said in January the first phase of its Sunrise Oil Sands Project might yield at least 3.7 billion barrels of oil. The Calgary, Canada-based company will extract heavy oil from tar-like sand with BP Plc and turn it into synthetic crude for refining into fuels.

Li, who has interests in property, ports and telecommunications, is also keen to invest in water-technology companies, according to the Finance Ministry.

The interest to invest comes less than a year after Li’s Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. sold its 51 percent stake in Israel’s Partner Communications Ltd. for about $1.4 billion in October.

Li is the world’s 14th-richest person with wealth of $21b., Forbes magazine reported in March.