(photo credit: REUTERS)
Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom signed on Monday a commercial production and delivery license for Israel’s largest private power plant, which will begin operating in the coming days.
With a capacity of about 840 megawatts – equivalent to approximately 6 percent of the country’s electricity production – the Dorad Energy Ltd.
facility will generate electricity using natural gas. Located in Ashkelon, the Dorad plant will produce the electricity using a natural-gas combine cycle structure with 12 turbines, the company said.
The signing occurred after the High Court of Justice ordered that the minister grant the license on Sunday, following an urgent appeal filed by Dorad to the court last week. Shalom had allegedly delayed doing so as a result of a recent Haifa Labor Court ruling serving to safeguard the Israel Electric Corporation.
“Granting the license for production and delivery to the Dorad power station, to generate electricity through natural gas, is an important step for promoting competition in the electricity sector in Israel,” Shalom said upon signing the license. “Despite the difficulties and pitfalls along the way, I’m glad that we have succeeded in granting the licenses to the Dorad station.
This is another significant step toward lowering electricity rates to the consumer and reducing air pollution, which the ministry is promoting.”
Select turbines from the Dorad power plant temporarily supplied electricity to the national grid during the summer of 2013 to prevent a situation where the season’s electricity reserves would become critically low.
In terms of natural-gas private power suppliers in Israel, Dorad’s grid connection is second only to the 440- MW OPC Rotem plant, which came online earlier in summer 2013. An even larger, 870-MW Dalia Power Energies plant in the Shfela is scheduled to be grid connected by around summer 2015.
“I am proud to be a partner in the process of constructing the largest private power plant in Israel, founded with a desire to change the rules of the electricity sector and improve them,” Dorad CEO Eli Assouline said.
Dorad Energy is a jointly owned by Eilat-Ashkelon Infrastructure Services (37.5%), Turkish company Zorlu (25%), Adelcom (18.75%) and U. Dori Engineering Works (18.75%).
The company will be selling all of its power output directly to private companies and government agencies, such as the Defense Ministry, Mekorot, Israel Aerospace Industries, Fattal Hotels, Keter Plastics, Isrotel, Strauss, Osem, Tamares Hotels, the Cargal Group, Seven Stars Mall, Bank Leumi and Tnuva.