Amid US pressure, Chinese firm loses contract for Israeli plant in sensitive location

Government panel chooses local IDE over Chinese rival Hutchison to build Israel’s largest desalination plant

Ten days after a visit to Israel by U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo, who warned against a Chinese firm winning infrastructure contracts in Israel, a government panel announced that an Israeli group has won the bidding process for a major desalination plant.

The government panel chose IDE over Hutchison Water, whose main investor is Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison Holdings.

The plant, dubbed Soreq B, will be built next to the desalination plant already in operation, and near the Palmachim air base and close to the Soreq Nuclear Research Center.

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The new facility will be the biggest of its kind in the world. Early estimates say it will be able to produce 200 million cubic meters of water annually and increase Israel’s desalination capacity by 35 percent.

Read more: haaretz