May 31, 2011

Sorek Consortium to Build World’s Largest Desalination Facility

Israeli banks will finance the $400 million project, which will result in substantial water market savings

Sorek Desalination Ltd.—a company formed by IDE Technologies and Hutchison Water Intl. Holdings Private Ltd.—announced agreement to obtain $400 million in project financing to construct and operate the Sorek desalination plant. The Eurpoean Investemtn Bank, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi will provide financing.

The company was recently selected by Israeli government officials to build and operate the desalination plant, which will be the largest plant of its kind in the world. The Sorek Sea Water Reverse Osmosis facility, to be completed in 2013, will be constructed under the Build-Operate-Transfer model. The project is a significant milestone in both desalination capacity and water cost, which will result in substantial savings for the Israeli water market.

The plant, which will be approximately 100,000 sq m, will deploy advanced membrane desalination technology, including the use of 16-in. membranes for the first time in a large-scale facility. The use of this technology will result in increased water output and cost savings together with a reduction in energy consumption. Water produced from the plant will be delivered directly to Israel’s national water distribution system.

The Sorek plant will have a significant impact on the Israeli water sector by providing around 20% of the domestic water consumption, and around 10% of the fresh water consumption in total in Israel.