(JNS) The Israeli company IDE Technologies on Tuesday, May 25, won the tender to build what is expected to be the world’s largest seawater desalinization plant – worth $1.5 billion – at Nahal Sorek, near the Palmachim air base, south of Tel Aviv. The Israeli firm beat a bid by Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate CK Hutchison Holdings to construct and operate the plant, Ynet reported.
The issue of growing trade relations between Israel and companies directly or indirectly tied to Beijing is of concern to the United States, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on his whirlwind trip to Israel on May 13, urged Israel not to choose the China-based firm.
According to a recent report by Bloomberg, Washington has been scrutinizing Israeli academic ties with China, including technology research and development, as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to persuade Israel to reduce those ties.
The “Sorek B” plant is expected to produce 200 billion liters of desalinated water annually, or a quarter of Israel’s overall water consumption. According to the contract, IDE Technologies will operate it for 25 years. The current seawater desalinization plant at Sorek – one of five in the country – is run by IDE Technologies and became operational in 2013.
Main Photo: Illustrative: The Sorek 1 desalination plant, November 22, 2018. (Isaac Harari/Flash90)