Israel leans on big desalters to combat drought

Published November 23rd, 2017

The owners of Israel’s four major seawater desalination plants could be set for a boost after the government opened a competitive bidding process to supply an additional 75 million m3 over the next year to cope with the country’s ongoing drought.

The joint tenders committee of Israel’s Finance and Energy & Water Ministries, together with the Water Authority, is conducting negotiations with the owners of the Ashkelon, Soreq, Palmachim and Hadera plants to supply the extra water over the coming year.

The ministry said it aims to have an extra 8 million m3 delivered by the end of this year alone, and market rumours have put the expected unit price at around $0.65/m3.

Notable by its absence from the list was the ailing Ashdod plant, owned by national water company Mekorot, which is expected to be put up for sale soon following a long-running dispute over its construction and commissioning.