Israel’s Mekorot Development and Enterprise has received government approval to construct and operate a seawater desalination plant in Cyprus. Like Israel, Cyprus suffers from a severe water shortage.

The two-year-old subsidiary of the government-owned Mekorot National Water Company won the tender in August.

The plant, to be built in Limassol, will cost about $74 million and is expected to generate about $19 million a year for the 20-year period of its operating license. It will be built according to a Build-Operate-Transfer model, and the fresh water it produces will be sold to the Cypriot government.

Israel, a world leader in desalination technologies, is home to the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant run by IDE Technologies in Ashkelon, off the southern coastline. The facility produces about 100 million cubic meters of water per year through reverse osmosis.