TEL AVIV (Jun. 5)
The Mekorot Water Co. has won a contract to construct a 42-inch pipeline that will carry oil from Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba to Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast. Construction costs are estimated at about $12 million apart from materials. The contract stipulates that the work must be completed within eight months and 10 days. It is expected to start in two weeks.
The pipeline will bypass the Suez Canal and will avoid the long tanker voyage around Africa. Israeli officials said in Jerusalem yesterday that the two West German steel firms that contracted to supply the pipe for the Eilat-Ashdod line – Thyssen and Mannesman – have failed so far to give a satisfactory reply concerning their alleged surrender to the Arab boycott of Israel. The two firms were reported last week to have advised the Arab boycott office in Beirut that they would make no future business deals with Israel. So far about 25,000 tons of pipe have been delivered to Israel but it is uncertain whether the balance of the order will be filled.