The Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Accountant General of the Finance Ministry have published a preliminary tender for the construction of a waste-to-energy (WtE) facility in the center of the country. The facility will handle more than 1,000 tons of garbage each day – double the amount of daily waste produced in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. It will be the largest such plant in the Middle East, and one of the largest in the world.
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan: "Israel is rapidly approaching the recycling standards of developed countries. Much of the world already understands that turning waste into a resource is a must in today’s economies. This not only creates new jobs and allows for energy production that does not harm the environment, but it also reduces dependence on oil."
Treasury Accountant General Michal Abadi-Boiangiu: "The tender for the establishment of an organic waste treatment facility is another step toward the implementation of the government’s policy to promote renewable energy production. It joins the tender for the construction of a solar energy plant in Ashalim being promoted by the Accountant General. I am certain that the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) method will prove itself in this case as well, as the most efficient tool for the development of infrastructure in Israel that benefits its citizens."
According to the BOT model, which has also been used in other large and complex infrastructure projects, the winning bidder will build the facility, operate it for 25 years in accordance with the standards that will be set by the tender, and then transfer ownership back to the state. A Joint Tender Committee from the Ministries of Environmental Protection and Finance published the pre-qualification stage of the tender last week.
The WtE plant, expected to begin operating in 2016, will be built with the coordination of the public and private sectors. It will include an organic waste treatment system that uses anaerobic digestion to produce "green" electricity and fertilizer.
Construction of such a facility is part of the recycling revolution in Israel being led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Already, some 500,000 citizens separate their waste into two streams (wet and dry), and by 2014, another million are expected to join in the revolution.
Recycling waste on such a large scale will reduce landfilling, which not only causes pollution, but also wastes precious land. It will put Israel in line with the most developed countries in the world in the recycling field. In addition, the European experience has shown that a recycling revolution can add tens of thousands of new jobs to the market.
The deadline for submission of bids in the preliminary tender stage is January 2013. The next stage is expected to take place in the second half of next year.
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