Israel gas rig.
(photo credit: Delek)
Natural gas from the Gaza Marine field is intended for the residents of the Gaza
Strip, and Israel will not buy it, people familiar with the matter told Globes
The idea is for the gas to power the power station in Gaza,
which currently uses diesel to supply electricity to the Gaza Strip’s
Israel is also considering delivering gas from Gaza Marine via
the Yam Tethys rig by pipeline to Ashkelon and then to Gaza. Security
considerations partly underlie the Israeli proposals; Israel is concerned that
Hamas could use the diesel for the power station.
Authority would be the main beneficiary of a switch to natural gas, as it would
save an estimated $100 million a year.
On Sunday, Globes disclosed that
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has proposed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas to
jointly develop the Gaza Marine and Noa offshore natural-gas fields.
Noa field, which has 7 billion to 8 billion cubic meters of gas could replace
Egyptian gas, if its supply is not resumed, while the 30- b.cu.m. Gaza Marine
field could meet the electricity needs of Gaza’s 1.5 million
Israel Electric Corporation currently supplies 44 percent of
Gaza’s electricity, and 50% is supplied by the 140- megawatt local power
Egypt supplies the rest.
Conversion of the Gaza power
plant to natural gas would require construction of a pipeline, which would take
three years. Although Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, it is not officially involved
in the production of electricity or its supply to the population.
year ago, the EU paid for diesel bought from Paz, but the PA now bears the full
The PA has not been able to collect debts the electricity it
supplies to Gaza’s residents from the power station, which means that the cost
of fuel to operate it causes financial losses.
For their part, Gaza
residents suffer from prolonged outages because the plant is only partly
The Gaza power plant is the only plant owned by the
However, Palestinian entrepreneurs want to build a 600- megawatt
plant near Jenin.
IEC currently supplies all of the West Bank’s
electricity, and the PA is IEC’s largest customer, responsible for 7% of total
sale, amounting to more than NIS 1 billion a year. Construction of the Jenin
power plant would save IEC the need to build a new NIS 1b. power plant of its