(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz deemed the relocation of the enormous Haifa Chemicals
ammonia tanker to the desert in the South a top priority in his administration,
during a tour of the Haifa Bay region on Thursday.
“When I was defense
minister during the Second Lebanon War, major discussions were held about the
question of handling the container,” Peretz said. “I think that the fact that
this week we entered a new era of Israeli gas requires the state to take on a
number of major operations, one of which is to start building a facility for the
production of ammonia, so that the new site will be closer to more factories
that utilize ammonia.”
In addition, he noted, the relocation of the
ammonia tank to the South, away from any population centers, will reduce air
pollution significantly due to the decrease in trucks carrying the
“There is no doubt that from our perspective, this will be one
of the main tasks of the Environmental Protection Ministry,” Peretz
The government made a decision on March 1, 2012 to evacuate the
ammonia facility – which would pose a great danger to the region should a rocket
attack occur – to a southern location. Work at the Haifa site must cease by the
beginning of 2017.
Peretz stressed that he was satisfied with Haifa
Chemicals’ willingness to participate in the container transport, and said he
saw a great partner in the firm.