Israel

Israel snubs Beijing to give mega desalination project to local firm days after Pompeo warned about Chinese money – Israel

Washington may celebrate a win in its tug-of-war with Beijing after the Israeli government awarded a huge contract, to build a massive facility for making saltwater drinkable, to a local company rather than to a Chinese bidder.

A government panel selected IDE Technologies to build a large desalination plant about 15 km south of Tel Aviv. The Israeli company’s bid was chosen over that of Hutchison Water, a water treatment subsidiary of a Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate. The win comes less than two weeks after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel and voiced concern about Chinese investment in local infrastructure.

The new facility will be built next to the existing Sorek Desalination Plant and is expected to be commissioned in 2023. Dubbed “Sorek B,” it will produce up to 548,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day. Combined with the first plant’s 624,000 cubic meters-per-day capacity, the site would become one of world’s biggest desalination operations.

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Israel rejects Chinese bid to build Sorek 2 amid pressure from the US – Israel

Israel chose local company IDE technologies to construct the world’s largest desalination plant, the government announced on Tuesday, rather than a Chinese company, thus preventing another undesirable showdown with the Trump administration over Chinese participation in major infrastructure projects.

Three groups bid to build Sorek 2, a private-public partnership (PPP) which will be the world’s largest desalination plant when completed in 2023.

Among them was Israeli Hutchison Company, an affiliate of the Chinese Hutchison Company based in Hong Kong.The US has asked its allies, including Israel, in recent weeks to sever ties with China – Israel’s third-largest trading partner – in areas with security risks, a US official with knowledge of talks on the matter said last week.

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Senate legislation would expand COVID-19 projects with Israel to lessen dependence on China – Israel

The Senate has introduced legislation to enhance partnerships between American and Israeli companies on COVID-19 projects, thus lessening U.S. dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced on Wednesday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a whirlwind eight-hour visit to Israel, criticized China while praising Israel.

“You’re a great partner,” Pompeo said in an appearance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before their meeting in Jerusalem. “You share your information, unlike some other countries that try and obfuscate and hide information. And we’ll talk about that country, too.”

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Pompeo to warn Israel over Chinese involvement in water plant – Israel

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to arrive in Israel on May 13. Though there are many issues on his agenda, one specific topic is particularly sensitive, since it revolves around tiny Israel’s involvement in the worsening clash between Washington and Beijing.

The facility, known as Sorek 2, will produce 200 million cubic meters of drinking water per year, raising the total water processed in Israeli desalination plants to 786 million cubic meters per year.

The Americans are worried that the Chinese firm Hutchison will win the tender to build the world’s largest desalination plant planned for the Palmahim Mediterranean coast in the south of Israel.

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Israel’s Azrieli sells desalination subsidiary to Generation Capital – Israel

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israeli real estate developer Azrieli Group (AZRG.TA) said on Sunday it sold its holdings in GES Global Environment Solutions to Generation Capital (GNRS.TA) for 105 million shekels ($30 million).

GES builds and operates seawater desalination facilities as well as industrial, municipal water and wastewater treatment plants.

The deal is not expected to have a material effect on the Azrieli’s results, the company said.

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Israel can track coronavirus outbreak through sewage system – Israel

Israeli scientists have developed a new methodology to trace the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) virus through the sewage and wastewater systems.

After sampling at wastewater treatment plants and in the sewage pipeline of the Tel Aviv area during the coronavirus outbreak, the team confirmed SARS-CoV-2 RNA is present in human waste.

They even found a larger concentration in one known outbreak hotspot.

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US said to question China’s role in bid to construct Israeli desalination plant – United States

US officials have questioned a China-tied company’s bid to construct a new desalination plant in Israel and have expressed concerns over the possibility of it winning the tender, Axios reported Saturday.

Hutchison Water International is one of two companies to have reached the final stage of the tender to build the Sorek B plant, set to be the largest desalination facility in the world, alongside IDE Technologies.

Hutchison is owned by Hong Kong-based holding company CK Hutchison Holdings.

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U.S.-Israel consortium launches $21.4 million initiative to develop water-energy technologies

Northwestern University and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), announced today the initiation of a U.S.-Israel consortium led by both universities for the development of new technologies to solve global water challenges.

The multi-institutional, international program, called the Collaborative Water-Energy Research Center (CoWERC), has a total budget of $21.4 million, including a $9.2 million grant over 5 years from the U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of Energy together with the Israel Innovation Authority. CoWERC is part of the U.S.-Israel Energy Center program administered by the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

Working at the intersection of water and energy, the team will research, develop and commercialize technology in three areas: energy-efficient enhanced water supply, wastewater reuse and resource recovery, and energy-water systems. All CoWERC projects are binational and include university, national laboratory and industrial partners. Technology development efforts will culminate in pilot testing at water and wastewater facilities in both Israel and the U.S. After being validated, the new technologies could potentially be implemented around the world.

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Israel launches tenders for desalination, solar power plants – Israel

The inter-ministerial tenders committees for seawater desalination and solar power plants invited companies to declare their interest in establishing a new desalination facility in the Western Galilee and a large power plant near Dimona on Wednesday.

The publication of pre-qualification tender forms for the construction and operation of the desalination plant, located north of Acre, follows the government’s approval of a strategic plan in June 2018 to cope with the impact of long-term drought.

The plant will be capable of producing at least 100 million cubic meters per year (mcmy) of drinking water.Once construction of the new facility is complete, seven desalination plants across Israel are expected to provide approximately 85% to 90% of national household and municipal potable water needs.

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Israel is hoarding the Jordan River – The Palestinians and Jordan Need their Share – Israel

Two areas farmed by Israelis for more than 50 years have recently been returned to neighbouring Jordan. The first, al Ghamr (known in Israel as Zofar), is located south of the Dead Sea in the Naqab/Negev desert.

The second, al Baqura (Naharayim) is found at the fertile point where a major tributary joins the Jordan River.

The association with water bodies is no coincidence: neither land would have been occupied in the first place were it not for the water that the Israeli army and kibbutzim required to sustain the farms.

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