Be’er Tuviya Regional Council head Dror Shor 370.
(photo credit: (Be’er Tuviya Regional Council)
In the aftermath of the barrage of rockets that fell in their region two weeks
ago, residents of Be’er Tuviya are demanding that a new natural gas power plant
not be built in their midst.
Arguing that the presence of a power station
would be extremely risky in the case of future attacks, the Be’er Tuviya
Regional Council, the Be’er Tuviya Local Planning and Building Committee and the
Kiryat Malachi municipality jointly sent a petition to the High Court of Justice
last week to stop the private project, which is being developed by Triple-M
Power Plants Ltd.
Dror Shor, the head of the regional council, will
attend a meeting of the National Planning and Building Committee on Monday,
during which committee members will be discussing the plant alongside
representatives from the Energy and Water Ministry, the Planning Administration,
the company and the local authorities.
“In the beginning, it was the
company Gav Yam, after that it was the group Shikun V’Binui and now we are up
against Triple M – any time we succeeded in convincing [them] that this is a
dangerous location, a new developer arrives and continues from the same point,”
Shor said in a statement released by his office.
“I hope that in the
coming discussion, common sense will win and this plan will be shelved once and
The power plant’s construction was first promoted six years ago
when the company IPM, a subsidiary of Shari Arison’s Shikun V’Binui, sought to
build the station in cooperation with the firm Gav Yam, according to the Beer
Tuviya Regional Council. IPM had planned to establish a 400-megawatt private
power plant on 6.2 hectares of land in the Be’er Tuviya industrial zone, but the
companies eventually backed out following the opposition of the head of the
regional council, the mayor of Kiryat Malachi and local residents. Shikun
V’Binui withdrew its intention to construct a plant there and instead sold its
holdings to Triple M, the council said.
During the last set of attacks
from Gaza, 10 Grad rockets landed in the area, deepening concern among community
members that future such attacks could cause leakages, fires and ultimately
disaster if they struck a natural gas power plant.
“You can only imagine
the exchange of charges and the imposition of liability among parties in the
presence of a commission of inquiry, which would be established in the future,
should an environmental disaster occur,” last week’s petition argued.
residents are not wholly against the establishment of a new power plant and
would approve the construction of one along the gas pipeline’s route at Road 6,
Shor said. Although the council has offered six alternatives to the current
plan, none of them have been considered, according to Shor.
“This is the
last place that a power plant should be established,” he said.
response to the complaints of Be’er Tuviya and Kiryat Malachi residents, Triple
M said that their plant will be part of the ongoing “natural gas revolution” and
that the company is adhering to all the demands of the National Planning and
Building Committee – including conducting comprehensive risk surveys for cases
of earthquakes and security breaches, as well as analyzing effects on air
quality, acoustics, soil pollution and landscape. Only following extensive
inspections of the area, as well as examinations of other alternative locations,
did the National Planning and Building Council decide favorably upon this plan
in 2009, according to Triple M.
Arguing that the plant would be a
“blessing to the area,” the company said that it “certainly will not produce
damage and/or risk” to the local environment.