JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel, a country that often suffers from its own lack of water, is helping one of its Mediterranean neighbors to turn salt water into fresh.
A subsidiary of Israel's national water company, Mekorot, announced the launch of a new desalination plant in the port city of Limassol, Cyprus, which will provide between 40,000 and 60,000 cubic meters of water daily for the next 20 years.
The plant is one of several international projects developed and operated by the Mekorot Development and Enterprise.
The Limassol plant, which cost about 50 million Euro to build, will produce an estimated 8 million Euro annually, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Silvan Shalom joined Mekorot CEO Shimon Ben-Hamo and Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Nicos Kouyialis and Kyriacos Kyrou, director of Cyprus Water Development for the plant's launch on Wednesday.
"We not only see in Cyprus a neighbor, but a partner to economic projects as well," Shalom said. "The new plant in Limassol and the [refurbished] plant in Larnaca, are further evidence that Israel has great technological and human strength."
Mekorot CEO Shimon Ben-Hamo said for countries facing water shortages, "the solutions that Mekorot has to offer are of great importance."
"Israel and Cyprus, two countries small in size but large in their vision, prove that a disadvantage can be made into an advantage, thanks to the common [goal of] a fruitful and prosperous life."
The Mekorot subsidiary has also been upgrading a second desalination plant at Lanarca, which will supply 60,000 cubic meters of water a day for the next 25 years. The upgrade cost about 17 million Euros and will yield approximately 7 million Euros annually.
Together, the two plants will provide 40 percent of Cyprus domestic water needs.
The Jerusalem Post contributed to this report.