From its inception, Mekorot was required to specialize in the operation of heavy mechanical equipment (tractors, etc.) for purpose of preparing the ground, laying pipes, constructing reservoirs and pools and other projects. During the Kishon Project Project, contracting companies carried out this work; however, immediately after the Second World War, and with an increase in the scope of work, the Company understood that hiring external contractors was expensive and not always an efficient solution (for example, it required coordinating several contractors).
For the first time, in 1948, a department was set up at Mekorot, which dealt with earthwork and infrastructure, and one of the first projects carried out by the department was the laying of the water pipeline to Jerusalem (the Siloam pipeline).
In 1949, new machinery was purchased from the U.S. for the Department, and it began gaining a foothold. Due to its expertise, the Company quickly began to execute the majority of the water industry’s projects. In 1950, Mekorot teamed up with Solel Boneh and the Jewish Agency to establish a joint company – the Mechanical Equipment Partnership, which was engaged in: excavations, general welding and laying pipelines. The partnership was eventually dissolved. At that time, and Mekorot ran 3 units: Heavy Mechanical Equipment, a workshop and a warehouse, which incorporated in the Mechanical Equipment Department. In light of the projected growth in operations, a decision was made to increase the department’s capital and to purchase additional sophisticated machinery. The Department, and its units, supplied equipment and the personnel to the Company’s northern and southern operation divisions; and earthwork and development projects were implemented under their management.
The continued growth in scope of the work and the expertise of the Department’s employees lead Mekorot’s management to establish a subsidiaryin 1956, called Mekorot Water Development Works Company Ltd., for the:
¨ Excavation of trenches for laying water pipelines, and laying water pipelines.
¨ Excavation of pools and underground pumping stations.
¨ Excavation of reservoirs, including transporting earth over long distances.
¨ Preparing access roads to work sites.
¨ General transport.
Subsequently, the subsidiary has also assumed the management of the projects; and an engineering unit and a technical unit were established for this purpose. The Company’s continued growth and development reflected the development of the water sector. In November of 1958, HME assumed responsibility for the drilling machinery from the water operations department. Since that time,in addition to the technical department, it operates a drilling department, a roads department, an earthworks department and an administration and services department. Together with the growth in the scope of the work and equipment, company’s personnel also grew.
Over the years, many dozens of employees were trained to form professional teams. In addition to activities in the water sector, from its inception, Mekorot Water Development Works Company Ltd. (and later HME) beganoperation in the civil sector. In 1955, the company was asigned projects unrelated to water infrastructure development. For two years, the department’s employees laid the fuel pipeline from Eilat to Ashkelon. Moreover, the company participated in the construction of the rampart for the Arad to Dimona railway line, established the refined fuel facilities in Haifa and Tel Aviv, and took part in the construction of roads and highways nationwide. Pursuant to the growth in activity and following the many reorganization projects conducted within the company, the field of civil projects became a central focus of its activities, and its scope grew to some two thirds of all the projects carried out.
In November of 1973, Mekorot’s management decided to turn the HME Department into a new company, named Mekorot Construction and Development Ltd.
One of the tasks of Mekorot Water – development of roads and highways infrastructure.