Mekorot Construction and Development
In November of 1973, the discussions regarding the establishment of a new company – Mekorot Construction and Development Ltd. – were concluded, and a decision was reached to establish the new company, which included Mekorot Water Development Works Company Ltd. and the Development Division’s northern and southern operations branches at the Mekorot parent company. The establishment of the new company was a result of the attempts on the part of Mekorot Water – Development Works Company Ltd. to contend with the shortage of orders after the construction of the national water carrier was finished , and due to fact that similar projects of this size were not forecast for the near future. Naturally, these changes had an effect on the number of employees and on the company’s management structure; but in principle, the company’s main objective did not change: i.e. providing professional services in the field of infrastructure for the company’s project projects and for civilian project s.
Even prior to the extensive reorganization activities, the company was involved in building the dams and the ramparts at the Dead Sea Works on behalf of the Tamarit Company, a subsidiary of the Dead Sea Works. After the Six Day War, the company was involved in infrastructure projects (paving roads, the temporary establishment of an asphalt plant at Grofit, building part of the Bar Lev Line) and water-related projects in the Sinai Peninsula and laying the immense fuel pipeline from Eilat to Ashkelon.
The experience it accumulated working on the national Yarkon-Negev water works and the National Water Carrier, and the need for reorganization, led to the company’s entry into civil projects that were not related to water industry. Prior to the Six Day War (1967), and immediately after the construction of the National Water Carrier, the Company began constructing bridges and paving roads (including the Beer Sheba Bridge, which was the largest bridge in Israel at that time).
The company’s employees constructed the railway rampart along the Oron – Dimona – Beer Sheba route and the Dan Sewage Project (Stage 1). They paved a network of roads in the south, installed the fuel storage tanks at the Beer Sheba, Ashdod and Pi Glilot terminals, and helped establish the ports of Eilat and Ashdod and the dividing wall at the Dead Sea Works.
After the Six Day War, the Company was assigned important national missions, many of them security related, such as: supplying water to Sinai, organizing various facilities for transferring fuel, creating infrastructure for new towns and villages, etc.
The geographical distribution that characterized the Company’s structure and operations, especially operations conducted by the Mekorot Development Division, enabled the company to meet the construction, security and industrial challenges in Israsel’s various regions, from the tip of Sinai to the Golan Heights. The employees at the Northern Branch constructed all the security fences along the northern border and in the Jordan Valley, military positions on the Golan Heights and in the Jordan Valley (occasionally under fire) and new settlements on the Golan Heights. The construction included residential, public and industrial buildings as well as bomb shelters in the various settlements.
Mekorot also built the runways and aircraft parking lots and refueling areas at Ben Gurion Airport and adapted the aircraft parking area for large aircraft (Boeing 747).
Following the reorganization and the establishment of Mekorot Construction and Development Ltd. (1973), the construction and infrastructure projects and security facilities were carried out by the subsidiary - Mekorot Water – Development Works Company Ltd. (HME).
A reduction in projects and the economic and organizational difficulties during that period, led Mekorot Construction and Development to reduce its involvement in civil construction projects. From the mid1980s, the Company’s activities focused on the establishment of water works and the supply of water to towns and villages nationwide.
For many years, especially after the establishment of the State of Israel, Mekorot was engaged in nationwide construction and development through its various subsidiary companies and units. The Company’s involvement in a wide range of civilian projects is reflected in the towns and villages that Mekorot established, in the roads it paved, in the bridges, factories and public buildings it constructed. All these are a living testimony to the contribution of the Company to the establishment of the State of Israel.