Time to dig ourselves out from under the snow and water and get ready for Shabbat with another Good News Friday post.
It’s tempting to mention the amazing water level rise of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) in this week’s storms, but I think there’s enough information to keep you going in my previous posts.
Instead I’ll keep to the theme of water with the good news that an Israeli company has won the contract to supply design and equipment to the US’s largest desalination plant:
IDE Technologies Ltd., owned in equal shares by Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) and Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL), has signed a $150 million contract with one of the largest desalination ventures in the US to plan and supply equipment for the largest desalination plant in the country. The plant will be built near the Encina power station in Carlsabad, in San Diego County, California.
IDE has also signed a $500 million, 30-year operating and maintenance contract with Poseidon Resources LP for the desalination facility, which will produce up to 200,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day in 2016. The Carslabad desalination plant will produce 7% of the area’s water consumption by 2020.
“The Carlsabad desalination project is an important milestone for us, for the State of California, and for the US in general. We believe that it will pave the way for the future of desalination in America,” said IDE president and CEO Avshalom Felber.
This is great news both for the Israeli company, the Israeli economy and for the US’s desalination projects. Israel is a world leader in desalination technology – so let the BDS brigade eat salt!
Still with Israeli technology, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), two Israeli “gesture-technology” companies announced significant deals with international technology giants:
In the first of several expected important announcements by Israeli companies at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), two Israeli gesture-technology companies — PointGrab and eyeSight — announced separately that their respective technologies would be integrated into the products of two tech giants. eyeSight’s gesture technologies will be integrated into new, advanced processing units from processor giant AMD; and PointGrab’s hand-gesture control software will be included in Samsung smart televisions.
The fact that two Israeli companies are making deals with corporations on the scale of AMD and Samsung is notable, but not really surprising; The two companies, between them, control some 95% of the 2-D gesture-technology market.
Kol hakavod to these Israeli companies, showcasing Israeli’s entrepeneurial spirit and its technological prowess.
My last item for today is the good news that the number of tourists visiting Israel in 2012 rose by 5%:
Some 3.5 million tourists entered Israel in 2012, a 5 percent increase from 2011, according to data released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
In terms of outgoing tourism, 4.3 million Israelis traveled overseas in 2012, a 1% decrease from 2011.
The number of incoming tourists would likely have been even higher if not for Israel’s eight-day Pillar of Defense military operation in the Gaza Strip in November. Incoming tourism fell 19% in November and December. In December, only 239,000 tourists visited Israel, a relatively low number compared to previous Decembers.
The largest sources of tourism for Israel in 2012 were the U.S. and Russia, with around 600,000 tourists from each country. However, many of the tourists from Russia only made one-day visits to Israel, without staying overnight.
Other countries that were significant sources of tourism for Israel in 2012 were France (300,000), Germany (250,000) and Britain (200,000).
It’s unfortunate that the number of tourists declined during Operation Pillar of Cloud in November, and yet the overall numbers are very impressive. May the coming year bring an even greater number!
With these happy thoughts, I wish you all Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh tov.