SABESP is one of the five largest water utilities in the world. CEO Professor Jerson Kelman recently toured Israel and opened doors for business cooperation.
Sao Paulo’s water utility, SABESP (Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo S.A), serves a population over three times the size of all of Israel, but Israeli water technologies are making significant headway in the region and helping it to overcome water shortages.
“SABESP presents a huge opportunity for the Israeli water sector,” explains Boaz Albaranes, Israel’s Economic Attaché is Sao Paulo. “With over 26 million customers, and 15 thousand employees, the utility’s scope of activity is tremendous.” Israel NewTech and the Commercial Office in Sao Paulo were able to bring CEO Professor Kelman to visit Israel, and this in itself is a significant accomplishment, and promises to expand Israeli business in the region.
“Nothing can compare to seeing Israeli technologies at work in person,” says Albaranes. While on a tourist break from the professional tour, Professor Kelman walked through Jerusalem’s Old City, and kept stopping to inspect the water meters spread throughout the area. “He was intrigued that even in such historic, cramped streets, the Jerusalem Water Authority vigilantly keeps tabs on water consumption and metering,” says Albaranes.
Professor Kelman’s visit, which took place at the end of March, showed him first hand some of Israel’s most advanced water technologies, and included visits to Mekorot, Hagihon, Eshkol, Shafdan and other major sites and companies. Professor Kelman presented on “Brazilian Water Sector and Opportunities” at a seminar with Israeli companies.
“It was important for us to give not only established companies, but promising Israeli water-tech startups the opportunity to present their technologies to Professor Kelman,” explains Adi Yefet, Head of the Water Sector at Israel NewTech. “This is why a ‘speed-dating’ session was held, with 15 Israel startups presenting their technologies and having a rare opportunity to interact with the most senior CEO of one of the world’s largest water utilities.”
Boaz Albaranes is confident that the visit will prove fruitful. “There are already dozens of Israeli water-tech companies doing business in Brazil, 20 of these even have offices in Brazil, but there is potential for more growth and expansion. The synergy between Brazil’s needs in wastewater reclamation and treatment, water management and more, and Israeli water technologies, is high. We are already working with Professor Kelman’s team following this important visit to advance business cooperation.”