A view of the Old City of Jerusalem..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Clearing the way for expanding natural gas lines to the capital, the Natural Gas Authority issued a tender this week for the establishment and operation of a gas distribution network to Jerusalem.
The Natural Gas Authority, located within the National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Ministry, will be awarding the tender recipient a construction grant of NIS 60 million due to the complexity of the required construction, the ministry said on Monday.
In addition to Jerusalem itself, areas surrounding the capital, as well as Beit Shemesh, will be beneficiaries of the distribution system, according to the ministry.
“This is significant news, will influence the lives of residents and contribute to savings in energy and savings in expenses,” said National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom. He was speaking at a cornerstone-laying ceremony for the network on Monday afternoon near Ramle, arranged by Israel Natural Gas Lines.
“Soon electricity and water tariffs will be reduced,” he continued. “The connection of [this] eastern gas line will directly impact the reduction of costs on a variety of additional products. We will all pay less and will be left with more disposable income.”
The distribution network will allow for a low-pressure (16 bars) gas supply, aiming to enable industrial plants as well as small and medium consumers to connect to the resource supply. As a source of cheap energy that is relatively environmentally friendly compared to other fuels, the gas will be an essential tool for factories, hospitals, office buildings and shopping centers in the Jerusalem region, the ministry said.
The eastern gas line will be about 90 kilometers long and will have a diameter of about 36 inches (91 cm.), according to Israel Natural Gas Lines, which has long been promoting the project.
The winner of the tender will be required to make the line reach the main consumption areas in the region, including the Givat Shaul industrial zone, Hadassah University Medical Center at both Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus, the Hebrew University campuses, the government quarters, police headquarters, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, the hotels near the city’s entrance, the Har Hotzvim industrial zone and the Beit Shemesh industrial zone.
Preparatory work must also take place for the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, the ministry added.
In addition to this larger eastern gas line, Israel Natural Gas Lines is constructing a pipeline that will connect the natural gas station in Mesilat Zion in central Israel to that of Beit Zayit outside Jerusalem, the ministry said.