Big is beautiful for Ashkelon

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IDE and Veolia have something to celebrate with the opening of the second phase of their desalination plant.

The second phase of the VID consortium’s Ashkelon plant opened last month, taking the capacity to 320,000m3/d – the largest reverse osmosis facility in the world. Veolia is a junior partner in the consortium, which comprises IDE (50%), Veolia (25%) and Elran Dankner (25%), but it has a 50% interest in the EPC contract alongside IDE and a 49.5% interest in the operations & maintenance contractor Adom. IDE has 40.5% of Adom, while Elran Dankner has 10%.

The water purchase agreement sets the water price at $0.53/m3 – the second lowest in the world after Hyflux at Tuas in Singapore. This price was partly a reflection of economies of scale, partly a result of low energy costs (the plant uses a DWEER energy recovery system), and partly because low energy costs from a captive power station.

The power station was developed by a separate company, backed by Delek. It was able to undercut the price of electricity supplied from the national grid on the basis of securing offshore gas supplies. Unfortunately there have been difficulties bringing the gas ashore, and Delek has had to buy in supplies from elsewhere. Water from the desalination plant will meet 13% of Israel’s drinking water needs (see Global Water Awards p25).

See: Veolia builds on Ashkelon success