Disruptions in deliveries of Egyptian natural gas has cost Israel NIS 15 billion - NIS 12 billion to buy alternative fuel, and NIS 3 billion in environmental damage - Finance Ministry acting director general Doron Cohen told an Israeli Institute Of Energy And Environment on Wednesday.
Prime Minister's Office director general Harel Locker said that gas flow from Tamar, which would save NIS 4 billion a year, has been delayed by one year due to opposition to the construction of a gas terminal at Dor beach. He said that the government would offer local authorities incentives for their consent to build the terminal.
"The question is why there is still a natural gas shortage in Israel, and why gas is not yet flowing from the discoveries," said Locker. "In early 2010, the prime minister was shown a report for the development of the Tamar field. The report stated that natural gas would start flowing in March 2010. We should now have been celebrating the completion of this project, but it hasn’t happened."
"The main reason for the delay is the National Planning and Building Commission's delay in approving a coastal site for the gas terminalת" Locker explained. "The economic consequences of this delay are NIS 4 billion a year, according to one estimate. What could we have done with this money: 10 hospitals, 2,500 classrooms, or 40 road interchanges."