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China loses bid to build $1.5 billion desalination plant in Israel

Under pressure from the US administration, Israel has chosen a local company over a Chinese one to construct and operate its massive new sewage water desalination plant.
SOREK, ISRAEL - May 20: Hertzel, a security guard at the IDE Technologies Sorek Project Desalination Plant, looks out over the water treatment facilities on May 20, 2015 in Sorek, Israel. The plant, commissioned in 2013, uses reverse osmosis technology to process sea water,  providing 20% of Israel's domestic water consumption. Photo by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor

Israeli authorities announced on May 26 that local company IDE technologies was chosen to construct the Sorek 2 sewage desalination plant in the south of the country. Israeli Hutchison Company, an affiliate of the Chinese Hutchison, was considered until recently the frontrunner for the tender, but American pressure against its candidacy evidently worked.

Sorek 2 is expected to be one of the world's largest desalination plants, increasing Israel’s desalinated water production by 35% and lowering water costs. Five other desalination plants already operate in Israel, but Sorek 2 will be the biggest. A 2018 tender invited companies to bid on its planning, construction and operation for a period of 25 years.

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