(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
As part of Sunday’s upcoming government proposal to strengthen the country’s South, the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry has pledged to allocate NIS 122 million toward bringing natural gas to southern residents and improving their energy efficiency.
Of the total NIS 122m., about NIS 30m. will be directly allocated toward increasing grants available to helping southern factories convert their internal systems to natural gas.
An additional NIS 32m., meanwhile, will be dedicated toward financing gas connections in areas that do not yet lie within range of the country’s natural gas distribution network.
The ministry said that it will submit an accessibility plan for southern consumers who have not yet been designated for connection within 90 days.
Most areas not within range of the distribution network will eventually access gas through a future compressed natural gas (CNG) unloading station, the ministry said.
Of the NIS 32m. dedicated to increasing gas accessibility, about NIS 12m.
will go toward connecting consumers in the Arad Industrial Area, the ministry added.
“This large investment is part of our strategy to reduce the cost of living and increase the disposable income of each and every citizen,” said National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom, who also serves as the minister for development of the Negev and Galilee.
In addition to budgeting NIS 62m. toward conveying gas to the South, the ministry announced on Thursday that it would be allocating NIS 60m.
toward increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy costs of municipal, industrial and commercial buildings in the region.
About half of this sum will go to local authorities, and about half will go to industrial and commercial buildings, the ministry said.
“The great investment we are making in bringing natural gas will help factories reduce their expenses, as will the savings that authorities will achieve thanks to energy efficiency grants,” Shalom said.
“Hundreds of homes in the South, and in all of Israel, will benefit from the fruits of this investment over the years.”