Argentine water treatment deal goes sour on Mekorot

Published 20th March 2014A 250,000m³/d water treatment project, which a Mekorot-led consortium was lined up to finance, build and operate for Argentina’s fourth city La Plata, has been dropped by the Buenos Aires provincial government following sustained controversy over the deal.

The critical objections were the price tag ($170 million in 2012 when the bid was presented), and the inappropriately close relationship between Mekorot’s local partners – 5 de Septiembre, Mako and Eleprint – and the provincial government and water company.

In addition, the project failed to guarantee potability because it ignored the deteriorated condition of La Plata’s distribution pipes, according to Adolfo Ruiz, an engineer in the regional government’s water department and representative of the trade union ATE Hidraúlica.

Mekorot’s acceptability as a contractor was also questioned by the regional parliament because of the Israeli national water carrier’s role in appropriating Palestinian water resources on the West Bank, ex-provincial deputy Oscar Negrelli told GWI.

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