Israel on Tuesday awarded a contract to build a new desalination plant to a local company, turning down a bid by a Hong Kong conglomerate at a time of growing U.S. pressure to avoid Chinese investments in key infrastructure.
Israel’s Energy and Water Ministry said it had granted the Sorek 2 desalination plant project to IDE, an Israeli company that has already built several of the country’s saltwater conversion facilities. Outbid for the contract was Hutchison Holdings, a major infrastructure conglomerate from Hong Kong.
The ministry said the new facility was expected to be the largest in the world of its kind and increase the country’s desalination production by 35%. It made no mention of Hutchison or the American pressure campaign.