Teva Pharmaceutical Industries will be converting four of its Israeli factories to operate on natural gas, according to a recent agreement signed between the company and Delek Israel Fuel Corp.

Requiring about 15 million cubic meters of gas per year, the four factories undergoing the conversion will be those in Ramat Hovav, Ashdod, Kfar Saba and Netanya, according to a joint release from Teva and Delek.

The three-year agreement – with a two-year extension option – would allow Teva to save millions of dollars each year by switching from expensive, polluting fuel oil and liquefied petroleum gas to natural gas.

The first of the plants to make the transition will be the Teva-Tech facility in Neot Hovav Eco Industrial Park, located in Ramat Hovav, the companies said. Teva-Tech will already be running on natural gas beginning in the third quarter of 2014, and the transitions at the other sites will follow, they added.

“This decision will lead to a positive impact on the environment due to the advantages of gas compared to the polluting and even more expensive alternatives,” said Erez Israeli, group executive vice president, chief business process officer and interim head of global quality at Teva.

Israeli stressed that the transition to natural gas is part of Teva’s overall vision of seeking out alternative energy sources and instilling environmental values among its employees.

Delek Israel Fuel Corp. CEO Avi Ben-Assayag said the agreement signifies his company’s participation in the Israeli “revolution in the perception of energy.”

“Early adoption of the natural- gas industry is the right step for Israeli industry to bring efficiency to plant operations, reduce air pollution and significantly save in expenses,” he said.

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