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U.S. Firms to Construct Dike System at Dead Sea Works in Israel

A $25,000,000 contract for construction of a dike system at the Dead sea Works in Sdom, Israel, was awarded today by the Dead Sea Works, Ltd. to three American firms. The American companies are Kaiser Engineers and Constructors of Oakland, California, Construction Aggregates Corporation of Chicago, Illinois and the Macco Corporation, Paramount, California.

Announcement of the contract, signed today in Israel, was made in New York by the Government of Israel Investment Authority for North America. The Authority reported that when the dike system is completed in 1965, potash production will be increased from the present annual level of 150,000 tons to nearly 600,000 tons.

An authority spokesman reported that approximately 98 percent of the total volume is intended for export, and will make Israel one of the world’s principal exporters of this material. He also noted that the foreign exchange to be earned by this increased export will reduce Israel’s annual trade deficit by some $20,000,000.

Construction of the dike system will be within the framework of an expansion program financed largely by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the authority said. The dikes will cover an area four miles wide by ten miles long, and enclose an area of 40 square miles. As a first step in the project, the three American contractors will shortly assemble an $8,000,000 construction plant at the site, which is located 70 miles from the shores of the Mediterranean. Although the dike system is slated for completion by May of 1965, various stages of the project will go into operation before the final completion date, the Investment Authority said.

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