$392 Million Development in Negev Projected by Experts in Israel

A ten-year, $392,000,000 development program of Government-owned or co-owned basic industries and mines in the Negev was outlined today by Menahem Bader, the director-general of the Ministry of Development. He spoke at the semi-annual session of the Technological Advisory Board here.

Britain’s Sir Ben Lockspeiser, who is chairman of the board of Israeli and overseas experts, said that the development of the Negev had international significance because it was almost the only area in the world which has three essential plant life nutrients in close proximity–phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. He said this made possible the establishment of a vast chemical industry in the Negev.

Mr. Bader, in outlining the development plan, said the profits from Government development enterprises in the next 10 years were expected to total more than $600,000,000. He stated that the expansion could be financed out of earnings, if the Government agreed to a five-year moratorium on repayment of loans to companies undertaking such enterprises.

Mr. Bader said new projects in the program included a fertilizer plant in the Negev, and plants for the production of aluminum, cement, soda ash, phosphate upgrading and clay calcination.

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