Bank Hapoalim heads Ashdod desalination financing

Bank Hapoalim is to head a syndicate that will provide NIS 1.5 billion (US$ 395 million) for the Ashdod desalination plant for Mekorot National Water Company subsidiary Mekorot Development and Initiations Ltd.

The plant will produce 100 million m³/year, beginning in 2012-13.

According to Israeli business site Globes Online, talks are underway with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to join the syndicate.

Mekorot picked Bank Hapoalim from both Israeli and foreign banks and financing institutions, and believes that a finance deal will be signed in March 2010.

Mekorot chairman Eli Ronen said, "Mekorot Development has again shown its determination, professionalism, and capability in moving forward on the Ashdod desalination plant. Despite the tight timetable agreed upon with the government, Mekorot will not miss the deadlines it has committed to, and in the plant will begin supplying water in 2012."

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