Israël: EIB supports one of the largest desalination projects worldwide
15 June 2020
New loan of EUR 150m to support the development of the Sorek II desalination plant in Israel.
The project will support water supply infrastructure in one of the world's most water-stressed regions.
The plant will meet the growing domestic demand while increasing the availability of reused water for agriculture.
The European Investment Bank, the EU’s long-term financing institution, has signed a EUR 150 million finance contract with the company SMS IDE Ltd targeting the design, financing, construction and operation of a seawater desalination plant using reverse osmosis technology in Sorek, Israel.
With a capacity of 200 million m3 per annum, Sorek II will become one of the largest desalination plants in the world. The project marks a milestone in the desalination industry with cutting edge technology to improve energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Through the financing of this project, the EU bank supports a high priority water supply infrastructure in one of the world's most water-stressed regions. It will allow meeting growing domestic demand while increasing regional water transfers. It will positively affect people’s daily lives in the region by improving water quality delivered to consumers. It will also increase the availability of reused water for agricultural users, thus fostering the switch away from freshwater usage and facilitating sustainable replenishment of aquifers
The project is line with the objectives of the Neighbouring Financing Facility (NFF) 2014-2020 and EU/Israel Action Plan. By financing this project, the EU underlines its commitment to regional and international co-operation, complementing other EIB water sector projects in the region.
The EIB, the leading finance provider in the Mediterranean region
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the EU’s financing institution. Its shareholders are the 27 EU Member States, which have jointly subscribed its capital, and its Board of Governors is formed by their finance ministers. In the Mediterranean region, the purpose of the EIB is to provide long-term finance for investment projects. The EIB is strongly committed to providing highly practical support for economic and social development with the aim of improving living conditions in the Mediterranean partner countries.
The contract signed with the company Sorek Desalination Ltd will serve to substantially increase the availability of water resources in a water-scarce region through the construction of a plant with a production capacity of 150 million m3 per year. In Israel, in 2007 and 2009 the Bank supported the construction and extension of the Hadera desalination plant with loans totalling EUR 130 million.
The EIB has a granted a EUR 350 million loan to Acuamed to finance investment in water and sanitation improvements on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. This is the first instalment of a total loan of up to EUR 500 million.