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U.S. Experts Report on Cost of Desalting Seawater in Israel

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An interim report on Israel’s projected nuclear energy desalination and power generating plant was made public here today, indicating that if the cost of financing the $175,000,000 project could be kept at 5 percent, the desalted water would cost 6.9 cents per cubic meter.

The Kaiser Engineering Company experts from the United States added that, if the financing costs rose to 7 percent, then the cost of the desalinated water would be 10.3 cents per cubic meter. Kaiser Vice-President Philip Bush, one of the American experts working on the joint Israel-United States study team, told a press conference that he estimated the capital costs at between 5 and 10 percent.

Mr. Bush recommended two locations for the proposed plant, one about six miles north of Ashdod, the new port on the Mediterranean Sea, and the other about six miles south of Ashdod. The plant would cover 160 dunams, and a large additional surrounding area would have to be cleared for safety reasons. Zvi Tzur, managing director of Mekeret, Israel’s water company, attended the press conference.

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