The Via Maris consortium today inaugurated the expansion of the Palmachim desalination plant south of Rishon Lezion. The plant was built three years ago with an annual production capacity of 30 million cubic meters of water. Expansion work was completed six months ago and today the plant's capacity to transform seawater into drinking water has increased by 50% to 45 million cubic meters of water per year.
The Via Maris consortium is controlled by Azrieli Group unit Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd. (TASE: GRNT), which has a 72.1% stake.
At the dedication ceremony today Minister of National Infrastructures Uzi Landau said, "The coming winter will be dry and that will be the seventh consecutive year of drought. We rely on our Lord in the heavens but we cannot rely solely on the skies. God helps those who help themselves so we have to complete overall demand ourselves."
Landau added, "We are not lacking water here. The State of Israel borders the Mediterranean Sea and we must wisely make use of it."
Azrieli Group chairman David Azrieli said, "We can double the water desalination here and we can make the plant even bigger than that producing 130 million cubic meters of water per year and at this time this is an important challenge."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 16, 2010
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