Mekorot Development and Enterprise

Sustainable Development

“Mekorot” placed environmental protection and sustainable development as a strategic goal. These areas are some of the Group’s fundamental principles, committed to maintaining Israel's water resources and the environment now and for future generations. This is reflected in “Mekorot” receiving “Platinum” rating, which is the highest rating, in the “Maala Rating” for 2012 in the field of social-environmental responsibility (the annual rating ranks leading business companies in Israel according to the emphasis they give to social-environmental responsibility in the activity).

“Mekorot” has succeeded, thanks to the implementation of a sustainable development policy, to reduce its energy expenses by a total of 1.5% per annum. Thus, part of its activity to increasing its energy efficiency, “Mekorot” currently operates a hydroelectric turbine connected to the “national carrier” near the Kfar Yehoshua. The turbine utilizes the excess water pressure for clean energy power generation. Thus, the Group reduces greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide by approximately 3,000 tons per annum. The hydroelectric turbine operates at a maximum power of 1,000 kW and annually produces about 4 million kW per hour, on average. “Mekorot” plans to run additional hydroelectric turbines in this facility with a capacity of 2,000 kW, and is examining the feasibility and economic viability of systems with higher power in other water reservoirs in its possession. Furthermore, “Mekorot” intends to build two photovoltaic systems (solar absorption surfaces), with a total capacity of 90 kW, on the roofs of buildings at “Mekorot’s” desalination site in Sabha Eilat, and the Company is promoting, in cooperation with “Solaris Energy”, a unique pilot project that will allow the construction of a solar power plant on water reservoirs.

At the same time “Mekorot” is carrying out extensive operations in this field through WaTech – the Group’s center for entrepreneurship in the field of water technology. To realize the great potential found in the 21st century energy, the Center locates and initiates, among other things, collaborations with professionals worldwide to promote technological innovation and to develop alternative green energy related to water: electricity production from solar energy, hydroelectric energy and from other additional sources of alternative energy; in order to bring additional savings in use of exhaustible energy and to protect the environment.

Another example of “Mekorot’s” environmental sensitivity and its protection of the environment as a supreme value, is currently found in the establishment of “Fifth Pipeline for Jerusalem”, which is part of Israel's water revolution promoted by the Group. The “Fifth Pipeline for Jerusalem” which will be completed in 2018, will meet the growing demand for water in Jerusalem in the upcoming decades and will also provide residents of the Judean region with desalinated water. The system’s route goes through areas of high sensitivity. To minimize harm to nature and scenery along the route, “Mekorot” is executing in the mountain a tunnel, the first of its kind in Israel, conveying water using advanced technology. This tunnel which is 14 km long with a diameter of 100 inches is defined as a “Pressure Tunnel for Water”. Not only in Israel is this type of tunnel considered groundbreaking. There are only a few tunnels in the world meeting the complex environmental and engineering challenge led by “Mekorot”. For the purpose of precise engineered and to minimize harm, “Mekorot” conducted a geo-technical survey along the tunnel route, which included about 18 boreholes at depths of up to 320 meters.

The Standards Institution of Israel
The Standards Institution of Israel

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