Hutchison eyes Israel's private power market

Hutchison Water, an arm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing's investment empire, is looking at entering Israel's private electricity sector. The firm has reached advanced negotiations with the water resources management company Tahal Group to purchase 40% of a license to erect a private 300-megawatt power plant using pumped storage technology north of Beit She'an, near Kochav Hayarden. The project has an estimated cost of NIS 1.4 billion, with Bank Hapoalim slated to provide financial backing. The license is currently 81% owned by the Kardan group and 19% by private investors. (Avi Bar-Eli and Itai Trilnick )

Growers to lobby against shekel-a-kilo sales

Israel's fruit and vegetable growers associations, along with the Moshav Movement, are complaining that supermarket promotions selling fresh produce for a shekel a kilogram shrink farm profits and cause them losses. A meeting is planned Sunday to decide on a response. "The ones paying the price are the farmers," said Ilan Eshel, secretary-general of the Fruit Growers Association. "If this continues there won't be any choice but to have the new government intervene by legislation to set limits so that free enterprise doesn't turn into a jungle." (Ora Coren )