Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL) officially launched its work building a natural
gas marine absorption buoy, which by November this year should be capable of
supplying 2-3 billion cu.m. of natural gas to Israel annually.
construction of a marine buoy for natural gas absorption is an important
strategic move in the framework of a natural project being led by the Energy and
Water Ministry – ‘Bringing the Gas to Land,’” said Energy and Water Minister Uzi
Landau. “Its goal – providing stability, reliability and security in the energy
Landau visited the worksite of the buoy on Tuesday morning
aboard the Seminole ship, which INGL is using as a work platform to construct
the natural gas absorption buoy, approximately 10 km. off the coast of Hadera.
During the event – organized by the Energy and Water Ministry in partnership
with INGL – officials held a ceremony to mark the opening of construction work
and gave a progress report of the work thus far.
Joining Landau on the
boat were officials from INGL, the ministry’s Natural Gas Authority, the Public
Utility Authority, Israel Electric Corporation and other Energy and Water
INGL is a wholly government-owned corporation,
established in 2003, receiving a license for operation of the country’s natural
gas system for the next 30 years, according to the company.
Israel’s anticipated natural gas shortage, Landau had directed his office to
formulate a solution that would bridge the gap between the depletion of the
current Yam Tethys reservoir and the onset of a regular supply from the Tamar
reservoir – expected to come online in 2013. The final decision was to construct
a buoy, something which became increasingly critical as frequent interruptions
of the Egyptian natural gas supply and its eventual complete termination
occurred, a joint statement from INGL and the ministry said.
construction of the buoy is complete this fall, a gassing ship will then be able
to connect to the buoy, providing it with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which
will then be transferred to the natural gas transmission system of Israel, the
About a year ago the minister had first instructed
INGL to erect a buoy through which the country could eventually receive 2-3
billion cu.m. of natural gas per year. Simultaneously, Landau directed the IEC
to lease a gassing ship, according to the ministry. In February, INGL finished
its National Master Plan and recently received building permit for the
construction – allowing construction to begin “at record pace,” which the
parties involved attributed to the cooperation among government
The buoy is of the type called Submerged Turret Loading Buoy,
and through it gassing ships will be able to unload natural gas directly into
the country’s natural gas transmission system. Design, manufacture and
construction of the buoy is occurring through the Italian company MICOPERI,
after the government signed a NIS 500 million agreement with the firm in
“This project alone will provide almost half of the amount of
natural gas annually required to generate electricity in the State of Israel,”
said Landau, who called the new reception facility “an oxygen tube for the
“This is a facility that increases the country’s ability to
maintain a continuous supply of energy to the power and industrial plants, and
provides a network of security and independence for the energy market,
especially in light of developments in Egypt, which affected the regular supply
of gas to Israel,” Landau added.
Ron Chaimovski, INGL chairman, agreed
that “this is a strategically important facility,” in a period of natural gas
“This project gives Israel the ability to import natural gas in
a short timetable,” Chaimovski said.
Officials expect that work on the
buoy will be complete by November 2012, according to INGL CEO, Samuel
“Immediately upon completion of the construction of the buoy,
the State of Israel will be able to receive natural gas from an additional
source and will not need to be satisfied with one single gas pipeline currently
active,” Turgeman said.