Yuvalim to construct seawater desalination facility in Israel
The Israeli government signed a franchise agreement for the construction of a seawater desalination facility with Yuvalim Desalination Ltd. The government will pay Yuvalim $0.54 for every cubic meter of desalinated water. The price, obtained in a tender, is among the lowest in the world, according to a finance ministry press release.
The facility, with a capacity of 30 million cubic meters of water annually, is expected to begin supplying water in 2005. Under to the terms of the 25-year agreement, Yuvalim Group has undertaken to design the facility, obtain all necessary licenses and permits, raise financing and build and operate the facility.
"The agreement constitutes an additional layer in our policy of investing in national projects, in collaboration with the private sector,” stated Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu. “The involvement of international players bears witness to the confidence in the Israeli economy.”
“This represents an additional significant step within the framework of meeting the long-term objectives of the water economy and adapting the supply to the growing needs, because of the rise in the standard of living,” he added.
Three previous agreements have been previously concluded for the construction of desalination plants, through tenders that were published by the Inter-Ministry Tenders Committee for Seawater Desalination.
The first agreement was signed with VID, for a desalination plant in Ashkelon that will supply 100 million cubic meters of desalinated water annually. The second agreement was signed with Via Maris Group, for a plant at Palmachim Beach with a capacity of 30 million cubic meters per annum and the third agreement was signed with Carmel Desalination Ltd., for a plant at Haifa Bay that will also supply 30 million cubic meters per annum.
The latest agreement was signed with Yuvalim following the group's successful bid for the pricing process that was held among the groups that failed to secure the initial BOO (Build, Own, Operate) desalination tender. The Group's bid was based on its own proposal in the BOO tender, whereas the price proposal submitted by the Group was lower than the price proposals submitted by the other groups who had won the initial tender.
Yuvalim Desalination Ltd. is a group made up of Elco (33 percent), Vitania (33 percent) and Shemen (33 percent). The desalination company on behalf of the group is VA Tech-Wabag of Austria. The group will build the seawater desalination plant on the land of Kibbutz Shomrat, in the Western Galilee.
The Inter-Ministry Tenders Committee for Seawater Desalination is composed of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, the Ministry of the Environment and the Water Commission. The Tenders Committee deals in the promotion of tenders for seawater desalination, in line with government policy regarding the needs of the water economy.
Nir Gilad, the accountant general at the ministry of finance, said that that the government is increasingly expanding its activity in the promotion of projects, including roads, railways, prisons and additional infrastructures. Nir Gilad added that the involvement of the private sector in various projects is enabling the government to increase its investments in worthwhile projects, even under a situation of budgetary constraints. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)