Idan Ofer may be readying to compete with Shari Arison in the solar energy market. Sources inform ''Globes'' that Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO), through subsidiary IC-Green Ltd., is in advanced talks to acquire a venture to build a 60-megawatt solar thermal power station on a 1,500-dunam, (375-acre) site at Mashabei Sadeh in the Negev at an estimated investment of $300 million. Acquisition of the venture will further Israel Corp.'s strategic plan to become Israel's largest electricity producer after Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22). It also puts the company in the solar thermal energy industry, which is currently dominated by Arison through Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd. (TASE: SKBN) unit Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy Ltd., which is moving forward on projects at Ashelim and Zeelim, near the planned facility at Mashabei Sadeh.
The rights to the Mashabei Sadeh venture are held by Two Sigma Investments LLC of the US, Kugler Development and Investments Ltd., and Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh, under a 2010 agreement. Former Ministry of Energy and Water director general Hezi Kugler is promoting the project.
IC-Green, run by CEO Yom Tov Samia, will probably have to bring in a contractor to build the thermosolar power station. The project's current developers already have an agreement to use the technology of Siemens Concentrated Solar Power Ltd. (formerly Solel Solar Systems) of Beit Shemesh.
The power station's construction plan is in the final stages of approval at the National Infrastructures Committee. It has already been allocated a quota of 60 megawatts of the 200-megawatt quota for solar thermal power stations.
Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy owns half the rights to the 125-megawatt solar thermal power station due to be built at Ashelim, and rights to a 120-megawatt solar thermal power station planned at Kibbutz Ze'elim.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 17, 2012
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