New facility, slated to be completed in 2013, will produce 150 million cubic meters of water each year

Published: 01.20.11, 14:01 / Israel Business

SDL Desalination Ltd said on Sunday it began construction of the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant, hoping to alleviate Israel’s water shortage.

The group said the new plant in central Israel will produce 150 million cubic meters of water each year, or about a fifth of household water consumption in Israel, and will be finished in 2013.

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SDL is 51% owned by IDE Technologies and 49% by Hutchison Water, a unit of Hong Kong group Hutchison Whampoa.

Israeli conglomerate Delek Group owns 50% of IDE, with the other half owned by fertilizer maker Israel Chemicals.

The group said in a statement the plant will produce water at a cost of around NIS 2.01 (56 cents) per cubic meter.

Currently, the largest reverse osmosis plant – a technology that requires less energy to desalinate sea water and is friendlier to the environment than thermal-based systems – is in the northern Israeli city of Hadera. It produces 127 million cubic meters of water annually.,7340,L-4015238,00.html