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April 20, 2014 3:05 pm

Israel and Japan Cooperating on Floating Desalination Plant

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Water fountain. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

An Israeli company is in talks with Japan to partner up and build off-shore desalination plants as demand rises for alternate sources of freshwater supply, Bloomberg reported recently.

Israel’s IDE Technologies Ltd. hopes to supply clients with floating platforms within three years and Japan’s shipbuilders and government are among potential partners to help make it happen, Udi Tirosh, a business development director at the Kadima-based company, said. IDE is engaged in discussions with companies from different countries but the ones involving Japan have progressed the most, he added.

“We’re in early stages on the commercial side,” Tirosh said in phone interview with Bloomberg, declining to specify which Japanese companies are involved in the talks. “We’re advanced in the technical side.”

Naoto Nakagawa, a deputy director at Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s maritime bureau, said in an e-mail, “We intend to coordinate a business match between IDE and any Japanese company interested in the desalination ship project. From the research we’ve seen the market for desalination ships is quite big.”

IDE’s ship-based designs could supply water for a city of 850,000 people, Tirosh said. Current designs for the vessels are drafted to produce about 50,000 to 120,000 cubic meters a day.

“The idea is to develop with our partners a multi-year, multi-vessel plan that would eventually supply significant capacity in various places in the world,” Tirosh said.

The global desalination market is predicted to more than double from last year’s $6 billion to $15 billion by 2018 as the world population grows and freshwater shortages boost demand, according to a March 28 report by Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting Co.

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