Minister Shalom promotes export of natural gas to Italy

Italian Economic Development Minister Flavio Zanonato met with Shalom on Monday in Rome.

December 2, 2013 20:16
1 minute read.
Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom at the weekly cabinet meeting, October 20, 2013.

Silvan Shalom at cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom promoted the idea of exporting some of Israel’s natural gas to Italy, during an inter-governmental G2G meeting with Italian Economic Development Minister Flavio Zanonato on Monday in Rome.

“The export of natural gas to Italy is in the common interest of both countries,” Shalom said. “Italy is a true ally of Israel and a major player in the arena.”

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While Israel has solidified its natural gas export policy, the country still has yet to decide where to export the amounts allocated for this purpose. Shalom and Zanonato discussed one particular option, which would involve making use of the idle liquefaction facilities in Egypt, owned by the Italian company ENI. This option would allow for Israel to transform its resource into liquefied natural gas, and from there export the gas to Italy and larger Europe.

Shalom presented the relevant plans to Zanonato, who said that he would try to take action to promote such a project, as it would be the quickest and most financially viable option for all parties involved, according to the Energy Ministry.

“Both states have a desire to promote the option that will be economical and quick for exporting natural gas between the countries, while all the options are on the table including the Egyptian-Italian one,” Shalom said.

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed the options of Israel exporting gas to Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, as well as the advantages and disadvantages involved with each.

In addition, Shalom and Zanonato discussed the subject of compressed natural gas, and the need to actively promote the entrance of this alternative fuel resource into the public transportation sector.

Also at the meeting, Israel’s national water company Mekorot and the Italian water firm ACAE signed a cooperation agreement.

“Today the fact remains that there is almost no country in the world, even those with which Israel has no diplomatic relations, that does not use Israeli water technologies, and for that we are proud,” Shalom said.

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