Kardan Water International Group (KWIG), a Chinese joint venture of Kardan NV (TASE: KRNV; AEX:KARD) and Tahal Group BV, has acquired 88.15% of Tianjin Huanke Water Development Ltd. for €12 million. The rest of the company will remain with Tianjin Environmental Protection Science Research Institution, a government company. Huanke Water owns the rights to six water treatment plants, four in the port city of Tianjin, and two in the Shandong Province, near Beijing. The company built the plants under BOT (build, operate, transfer) contract with operating leases averaging 20 years. The plants produce an aggregate over 72 million of cubic meters of water a year, which will increase to over 106 million following upgrades over the next three years.
Why I am affected by this success of an Israeli company? I spent 12 years in TAHAL and left voluntarily. I feel TAHAL is, a little bit, my professional home. As many imbeciles, I too felt that they could not survive without me and they would need me. But then, they not only survived but prospered mightily. On the other hand, I was an Israeli pioneer in Tianjin, was invited to Tianjin in 1994 or so, when no one had yet been in China, and Western people was received with fear and curiosity. I was the first Jew they met and was interrogated carefully. I maintained meetings with the people in the Environmental Institute, I have lots of photos (which I will post here later), and even remember the Swedish International Aid mobile environmental laboratory in the Institute. I also advised the Tianjin wastewater plant and dealt with the problem of a depleting aquifer and consequent sinking of the city center. I was the first, I was specifically asked to develope commercial contacts, and did nothing. Now, other Israelis, my colleages which I am familiar with (may be too familiar) are triumphing and making big business in China with the contacts and opportunities I had in my hand and let slip away.. I feel bitter and sick in the stomach, they have advanced while I am here blogging and designing miserable sewage lines for peanuts.