water.jpgIsrael's IDE Technologies has signed a $119m contract with Tianjin Ambest International Logistics to supply a seawater desalination plant at the Beijiang Power Station, 200km northeast of Beijing. The plant will supply water for the power plant and drinking water to the local population, while the concentrate will be used for producing salt.

Parts of the facility are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2008. IDE Technologies Ltd.is a pioneer and world leader in the delivery of sophisticated water solutions. IDE develops, designs, manufactures, installs and maintains plants for saline water desalination and effluent concentration for industrial and domestic applications.

Israeli companies are leaders in the desalination, as the country has had to develop numerous technologies to deal with severe water shortages. Already, 60% of the country's sewage water is recycled, and the world's largest desalination plant was opened along Israel's southern Mediterranean coast.

Demand for desalination plants has traditionally come from the US, Spain and the Middle East, but China is now investing heavily in this technology to fend off severe water shortages. Recent studies show that in the next 50 years water resources
per capita will go down to around 1700 cubic metres, which is the threshold of severe water scarcity.

Environmentalists do not like desalination because it is costly and highly energy intensive and they would prefer resources to be invested into using water more wisely — see this story.

Chinese companies have also developed expertise in desalination technolgy — see this story.