IEC: Declare electricity state of emergency

High electricity demands and subsequent power shortages expected to occur this summer.

April 20, 2012 03:36
1 minute read.
Uzi Landau (R) and Avigdor Lieberman (L)

Uzi Landau (R) and Avigdor Lieberman (L)_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

The Israel Electric Corporation has requested that the Energy and Water Ministry convince the government to declare an official “state of emergency” for the Israeli electricity market.

On Monday, the IEC launched a multi-day, comprehensive exercise to evaluate the country’s preparedness for the high electricity demands and subsequent power shortages that are expected to occur this summer.

Following the exercise, the company concluded that during peak electricity demands this summer it will only have 1 percent reserve electricity, according to an “immediate report” that the company submitted to both the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the Israel Securities Authority on Wednesday.

Consequently, if an accidental mishap occurs in even one of the IEC’s production units, or if extreme weather conditions bring an increase in demand, the company will likely not be able to provide enough power to its consumers.

People should therefore expect power outages in such cases, for hours in the most extreme conditions, the report said.

The IEC is currently preparing – in collaboration with teams from the Energy and Water Ministry – to address what the company calls an “acute crisis,” and has thereby asked the ministry to exercise its authority to officially declare, with governmental approval a “state of emergency” in the electricity sector, according to the report.

This would enable the company to temporarily stop supplying electricity to consumers for periods of time without violating the law, licenses and contractual obligations, the report said.

In response, the Energy and Water Ministry – headed by Uzi Landau – said that “declaring a state of emergency is part of a broad spectrum of measures to cope with the summer’s electricity supply.

Currently, administrative work is being prepared in the government ministries regarding this,” the ministry said.

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