Israelis sell snow to Russia

By Slava Tsukerman

The article with this title was reposted this week by dozens of Russian websites.  The sentence sounds especially funny in Russian, because every Russian knows a joke about a Jew who would sell snow to “Chookchas” (a tribe that lives in polar regions of Russia).  A Russian journalist Natalia Radulova made a comment: “I feel like I was waiting my entire life to be able to use this title”.

The short article with this title was informing readers that Russia is planning to purchase several Israeli snowmaking machines for use at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Sochi is a subtropical resort on the Black Sea shore and Putin’s choice of this warm place for the winter games is one of favorite subjects for ironic comments of the anti–Putin Russian media.

In fact the news is not as sensational as it may seem. Last year, two ski resorts in Austria and Switzerland already began using the All Weather Snowmaker developed by Israel’s firm IDE Technologies to start their seasons earlier then usual. Unlike traditional snowmaking machines, which require temperatures near freezing and low humidity, IDE’s All Weather Snowmaker claims the ability to make snow under any climactic conditions. Last month The Austrian Pitztal ski resort, the highest altitude resort in the country, told France-Presse Agency that the machine tripled the size of its ski area at opening.

The device, priced at $3 million, produces some 35000 cubic feet of snow per day.

According to IDE, the All Weather Snowmaker is a unique, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient solution, which uses 80% less energy than other devices of its kind.

The device is based on Vacuum Ice Maker technology, developed by IDE during the 60’s for seawater desalination purposes, first used in the southern city of Eilat. IDE’s exclusive technology can be used also for heating and cooling of structures, energy accumulation and cooling of deep goldmines.

It’s interesting that the idea of creating Israeli All Weather Snowmaker belonged to a Russian engineer.  “The idea crossed our way by accident,” says to a Jerusalem Post correspondent Moshe Tessel, the manager of IDE’s Refrigeration Department. In late 2005, after IDE had finished installing a cooling device for a gold mine in South Africa, one of the senior Russian engineers on the team noticed that the quality of the ice resembled snow. “I can ski on this,” he declared. “Find me some skis!” Eventually, a rental ski equipment store was found in Johannesburg. The engineer proceeded to test his claim on the artificial snow mound and pronounced it excellent quality. His Israeli colleagues, most of who had never skied, looked on in sheer amazement.

The Russian was so insistent that Israeli invited an Olympic coach from Finland down to South Africa to ski on it too and see if it was really high-quality snow. As a result All Weather Snowmaker was created.

Today the snow producing industry’s worth is estimated at one billion dollars a year.

Publishing and reposting the article about “Israelis selling Russians snow” Russian anti–Putin journalists tried to broadcast the clear message: Putin’s Government is incapable even to produce snow in Russia. But the result of the publication was partly opposite. Most of readers’ comments to these posts in the Russian Internet are anti-Semitic. According to them Jews again managed to rob poor earnest Russians. In conspiracy with the corrupted and pro–Jewish Putin Government they (Jews) foisted frozen water on Russians for millions of dollars.

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Updated: December 16, 2013 — 7:31 pm

1 Comment

  1. There is a mistake in this article. IDE has lost the bid to a technology of Canadian company by the name IceGen (icegeninc.com)

    Snowtek a finish company and IceGen inc a Canadian company have supplied three mobile system which was already commissioned last month.

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