(photo credit: URIA ASHKENAZY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Following pressure from the Environmental Protection Ministry, four factories in the Haifa Bay region will soon be connected to natural gas for the first time, the ministry announced on Sunday.
The Haifa District Committee for Planning and Building recently approved the connection, after Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabai met with a number of officials in the bay region to demand the expedited construction of two low-pressure gas distribution lines, the ministry said.
When Gabai had learned that the connection of the factories to natural gas had been delayed, he met with the CEO of Merimon Natural Gas, the firm responsible for establishing the distribution network in Haifa and the Galilee, as well as a number of other relevant people and agencies, to accelerate the submission of work plans to the district committee. Soon after, the committee’s chairman convened a session and approved the first two distribution lines – which should be complete within eight months, the ministry explained.
“Air pollution in Haifa is the center of everything we are doing,” Gabai said.
“This is the first step to connect factories in the Haifa Bay to natural gas, as part of a plan to reduce air pollution in the Haifa Bay, and we will continue to facilitate the connections of additional plants to natural gas and switch to using gas instead of polluting materials.”
Because natural gas is far less polluting than other fossil fuels, Environmental Protection Ministry officials said they have been working in recent months to expedite the connections of factories to the resource. As part of the overall plan to curb pollution in the region, about 15 factories will soon be required to reduce sulfur emissions as well as reduce the use of their current fuels to make way for gas, the ministry added.