Palmachim only Israeli desalination plant to agree extension

Only one of the three existing large desalination plants in Israel asked to submit proposals to the government for increasing their output has come up with an offer.

The Palmachim desalination plant has submitted a proposal to the Interministerial Tenders Committee for Water Desalination to increase its output by 45 million m³/year.

The Hadera and Ashkelon plants deem the water price of NIS 2.09 (US$ 0.57)/m³ of water – similar to that recently agreed for the new Sorek plant – to be to low.

Palmachim desalination plant expansion is expected to increase its productivity to 90 million m³/year from 2013. Together with existing facilities and the upcoming projects at Sorek and Ashdod, which will begin operating in 2013, desalinated water output will reach about 45% of the total fresh water consumption in the economy and more than 85% of domestic consumption.

The final price of water will be established by the Tenders Committee after additional checks on the engineering and costs of the Palmachim extension. The Finance Ministry says that the price, weighing the operating period of the facility, is similar to the price determined in the tender for the Sorek desalination project, and significantly lower the prices of all other desalination plants.