Canadian firm EnGlobe has won the international tender to dredge and clean up the riverbed of the Kishon River. Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan made the announcement at an event on Tuesday, attended by Canadian Ambassador Paul Hunt and Barry Ellis, EnGlobe’s International Business Development director.
EnGlobe, an environmental services company with rich experience in the treatment of contaminated soils, was one of 20 companies that submitted bids for the project. In two weeks, the company will start to establish a work site where contaminated soil that is removed from the Kishon riverbed will be treated. In August, special barges will be deployed that will begin to dredge the soil, which will be treated in a unique biological process that has never before been utilized in Israel. The treated soil will then be used to build banks of the river that will serve as a gateway to a large metropolitan park.
Minister Erdan: “This is a joyous day for me. This is an historic project. The public will get back its large metropolitan park, instead of the most polluted river in Israel. The dream of restoring the Kishon is becoming a reality, and soon the public will be able to sail, fish, and to relax on the banks of the Kishon, and to enjoy a river that belongs first of all to the citizens.”
Removal and treatment of the contaminated riverbed soil makes up a significant portion of the 3-year, NIS 220 million Kishon River restoration project, which was proposed by Erdan and approved by a Government Decision in July 2011. It is being funded by factories responsible for the contamination, the State, and local authorities.
Erdan reviewed the project’s progress when he announced the tender. Currently, an alternate river route is being dug, to make space for the plant where the soil will be treated. The ultimate goal is to create a wide river that will allow the public to enjoy the restored river.
The Kishon River was once considered to be the most polluted river in Israel. But the restoration project has already resulted in the return of animals that were forced to flee due to the pollution, and to a significant improvement in the water quality.
Press Release, January 16, 2013