Owned and managed by Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL), the Dead Sea Works company has initiated one of the most complex and largest infrastructure projects. The Salt Harvest project is said to be the greatest infrastructure project to be launched in Israel.
The salt ponds of the ICL consist of the southern region of the grand Dead Sea. Various tourist attractions and hotels alike were previously built on the shores of these ponds. This was strategized to allow the local tourism industry to use the production of salt for themselves.
As per a statement released by ICL, one of these ponds is quite useful. Pond 5, specifically, is responsible for enabling the livelihoods of a great number of people, who depend on its stable water level.
It is no secret that nearly 20 million tons of salt sinks to the bottom of the salt ponds owned by ICL. This happens each year and in order to maintain a stable water level, minerals need to be extracted through the process of solar evaporation. Thus, the aim of the project is to first harvest and then transfer salt from Pond 5 to the Dead Sea’s northern basin. The project is said to be spread over an area of almost 80 square kilometers.
ICL continually reminds us how important it is that a stable water level is maintained in Pond 5. If the water was to rise above a specified level, the foundations of the many hotel structures could suffer drastic damage. Those hotels located close to the edge of the water are especially in danger, along with those buildings sitting on the western shoreline of the pond.
The ICL is joining hands with the Hollow Shallow Sea Dredging company to build three electric maritime dredgers. They will facilitate the extraction process and allow huge amounts of salt to be carried out. Each dredger will be 24 meters in width and 141 meters long. Thus, they will be the largest of their type to ever have been built.
Experts have suggested that the project is likely to exact a cost of approximately NIS 7 billion. Most of this sum will be paid for by ICL itself. The Israeli government had signed an agreement in the year 2012, which stated that they would take responsibility for 80% of the total cost of the project.
The President of the Potash Division of ICL, Noam Goldstein, also talked about the project. He stated that it is a significant launch and will prove that sustainable solutions and industrial production can come together. He made several references to efforts made to ensure that there was no harm done to the local tourism due to the launch of the project.
Besides the project, Goldstein also assured that the planning and design of these unique dredgers will not cause a problem either. He informed that they will be built in a way to prevent any noise interference that could disturb tourists in nearby hotels.