Israel launches int'l project for country's largest desalination plant

  • World
  • Thursday, 29 Feb 2024

JERUSALEM, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Israel announced on Wednesday a project to expand the Ashkelon Desalination Plant, making it the largest in the country, according to a statement released by the Israeli Energy and Infrastructure Ministry.

For the project, the Israeli Finance Ministry issued an international concession tender for the renovation, expansion, and 25-year operation of the facility, located near the Mediterranean coastal city of Ashkelon in southern Israel.

It is one of Israel's five desalination plants, with about 115 million cubic meters (mcm) output of potable water per year. After the expansion, the output will almost double to 220 mcm. A timetable and costs for the project will be determined after the concessionaire is selected.

The statement said that the expanded facility, which will include advanced technologies and sustainable practices, will help increase Israel's water resources to address growing needs and strengthen national resilience in drought and water shortage periods.

Today, the Sorek Desalination Plant in central Israel is the country's largest, with a water output of about 150 mcm a year. It was jointly built and operated by a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited and its Israeli partner IDE Technologies.

The statement said that after the renovation of the Ashkelon facility, the five plants, together with two future new ones, are expected to supply a total of about 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) of potable water per year, almost the entire scope of the expected annual water consumption for homes and industries in Israel.

In June 2018, the Israeli government decided to increase the amount of desalinated water from 600 mcm to 1.1-1.2 bcm per year by 2030.

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