IDE pays $53.3 million for 49 per cent of Sorek desalination plant

IDE is to acquire 49 per cent of Sorek desalination plant from Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Water for ILS 190 million ($53.3 million), reports Haaretz.

IDE exercised first refusal rights over shares in the plant — it already owns the other 51 per cent — after Israeli investor Noy Fund won a competitive bid to acquire the stake. The shares were put on the market by Hutchinson, a subsidiary of Hutchinson Whampoa, in 2017.

The acquisition gives IDE control of 70 per cent of desalination capacity in Israel, meaning that it cannot bid on further projects. Israel unveiled proposals for two new large-scale desalination plants in May 2018.

Sorek desalination plant is a 624,000 m3/d plant which became operational in 2013 on a build, operate, transfer contract that runs to 2037. The total cost of the plant was approximately $500 million.