Three groups have submitted bids for the construction, financing, building and operation of Israel's new desalination plant in the Western Galilee, which will be able to desalinate 100 million cubic meters of water per year. The bids were received from IDE Group, GES Group, and A4 Group.
The bids in the tender were received after an early selection procedure that examined the bidders’ compliance with legal, financial and technical threshold conditions, as well as a clarification questions procedure that lasted several months.
The tender was published following a government decision from June 2018 to increase the quantities of desalinated water. The facility, which is expected to be completed in early 2025, will join the existing desalination facilities in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Palmachim Hadera and Sorek.
As part of the project, which will be carried out jointly by the government and the private sector using the PPP (Public Private Partnership) method, the winning group will be responsible for the planning, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the desalination facility, for a period of 25 years. After that, the facility will be handed over to the ownership of the state. The facility will produce at least 100 million cubic meters of water per year, and will bring the total water production in the desalination facilities in Israel to about 885 million cubic meters per year, which will constitute 85-90% of the total domestic and industrial consumption of fresh water in Israel.
As part of the tender process, the tender committee will be able to select two bidders with the best score, who will advance to the final stage (BAFO procedure – Best And Final Offer), during which they will be required to select a lending bank and complete a financial closing procedure to finance the desalination facility. In the tender and at the end, the tender committee will select the winning bid. The BAFO procedure is expected, among other things, to shorten the schedules for the construction of the facility and lead to an improved and cheaper financial offer, which embodies savings that are rolled directly into the water tariff. This type of procedure was first incorporated in the state tender for the desalination project in Soreq B, the construction of which began in August 2020, and that resulted in a reduction of about NIS 1 billion in the price of water for consumers.
The tender for the construction of the desalination plant in the Western Galilee was published in December 2020 by a joint inter-ministerial tender committee for the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Energy, the Water Authority and the government company Inbal, headed by Amit Marzai, Director of Infrastructure and PPP Projects.
Accountant General Yaheli Rottenberg:
“Despite the challenges of the Corona crisis that accompanied the work of the Tenders Committee over the past year and a half, the Accountant General’s department is once again demonstrating its ability to promote complex infrastructure projects with partners – the Water Authority and the Ministry of Energy according to schedules and with great success. The project will join a series of infrastructure projects currently being promoted in the Accountant General’s Division, which will help promote the infrastructure in Israel and encourage growth that will enable the rapid economic recovery needed during this period.”
Yehezkel Lifshitz, VP of Energy and Water Infrastructure at the Ministry of Energy:
“The seventh desalination plant in the country is underway, and this is another stage in our response to climate change and a possible shortage of water. The facility will be in the North of Israel, and will make it possible to strengthen the water system in the north of the country, in order to ensure the residents a regular water supply for many years to come."
Director of the Water Authority, Giora Shaham:
“The desalination facility in the Western Galilee has an important role in increasing the reliability of supply in the area between Haifa and Nahariya, which is developing vigorously. Water supply must be ensured there. The facility will also be an important source of water for the national system's flow of water to the Sea of Galilee, a move that is in the advanced stages of implementation."