KfW IPEX-Bank is providing EUR 90 million of financing for the construction and operation of a highly advanced desalination plant in Israel. With a capacity of 200 million m3 per year, Sorek B will be the biggest in the country and one of the largest in the world. The total investment volume in this project, which is located around 20 km south of Tel Aviv, is around EUR 500 million. Alongside KfW IPEX-Bank, the Israeli Bank Leumi and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are also contributing to the financing of this project.
IDE Technologies, an Israeli-headquartered global leader in providing advanced water treatment solutions, is the general contractor, operator and investor in the Sorek B project. Since it was founded around 55 years ago, the company has built hundreds of advanced and sustainable water treatment facilities worldwide, including the Hadera Seawater Desalination plant, which KfW IPEX-Bank also financed back in 2009. Key components of the Sorek B plant are being exported from Germany and elsewhere in Europe, and include high-pressure pumps, pressure vessels and main power supply equipment.
Markus Scheer, member of the Management Board of KfW IPEX-Bank, comments: “In financing the Sorek B seawater desalination plant, we are actively contributing to improving the supply of drinking water in Israel. It is absolutely essential to tap into new, unconventional water resources in order to supply the Israeli population while also enabling sustainable development for parts of the agricultural sector as well as industry. We are more than proud to support our client IDE Technologies in this project and to finance the facility together with Leumi and EIB.”
“We poured into the design of the Sorek B facility all the know-how, experience and expertise we’ve gained across more than 55 years of experience and hundreds of successful global facilities across the globe”, explains Alon Tavor, CEO of Sorek B. “Once again, IDE is leading the water treatment world and setting a new industry benchmark, which is the culmination of extensive research and development, coming to fruition on this monumental occasion”.
Shmulik Arbel, Head of Bank Leumi's Corporate Division, said: "Leumi's decision to lead the financing for the Sorek B project, alongside KfW IPEX-Bank and leading Israeli and foreign financial institutions, continues Leumi's strategy to be a leader in Israel's national infrastructure sector, which is a significant growth engine for the entire Israeli economy. We are proud to take part in this important project, which is expected to be the largest of its kind in the world and significantly increase Israel's water resources, together with IDE Technologies, one of the world's most experienced and highly respected water treatment companies".
Water supply in Israel has always been challenging, as the country’s natural water resources are limited and demand for water is continually increasing. The new plant should help to ensure that demand for drinking water is met for the long-term and alleviate the pressure on local groundwater and surface water reserves. Construction is expected to last three years, meaning that commissioning is planned for 2023. Sorek B will then produce around 200 million m3 of drinking water a year, providing 25 per cent of Israel’s water supply. The plant will operate for a period of 25 years. During this time, the withdrawal of water will be contractually regulated by the state-run Water Desalination Administration.
With this financing, KfW IPEX-Bank is positioning itself in the drinking water supply sector, a strategically important industry for the future, and in the Middle East economic area.