Financing secured for $400 million desalination plant in central Israel, slated for completion in 2013

Ynetnews and Shalom Life
Published: 05.29.11, 07:30 / Israel Activism

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The answer to Israel’s age-old problem of a lack of water appears one step closer to being solved with the announcement that financing has been secured for a $400 million desalination plant in Sorek in the center of the country.

The plant, which will be built by SDL, slated for completion in 2013, will be one the world’s second largest plant of its kind, expected to produce 150 million cubic meters of water a year.

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The European Investment Bank and Israel’s two largest banks, Leumi and Hapoalim, provided funding for the project, which, through desalination, will account for more than 65% of the water needs of Israeli households.

“This move will substantially contribute to solving Israel’s water crisis,” Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said.

A press release said the expansion of desalination technology would have a direct impact on people’s daily lives: The blending of desalinated water with fresh drinking water from the national water carrier system will improve the quality of water delivered to consumers by reducing hardness and concentrations of salts, nitrates and boron. It will ultimately result in markedly reduced water abstraction and thus the prevention of saline water intrusion into aquifers.

The financing of this project forms part of the EIB’s support for improving wastewater treatment facilities and drinking water supply in the regions.

In Israel, in 2007 and 2009 the Bank supported the construction and extension of the Hadera desalination plant with loans totalling €130 million. In the Mediterranean region as a whole, it has devoted more than €1.05 billion to the water sector.

FEMIP, the Bank’s financial arm in the Mediterranean, is also working to reduce pollution in the Mediterranean Sea under the Horizon 2020 initiative, in line with one of the six priorities of the Union for the Mediterranean.,7340,L-4075028,00.html