The government is considering allowing a group of Palestinian investors to build a natural gas-driven power station in the Jenin area at an investment of $250 million. Sources inform ''Globes'' that the entrepreneurs want to buy Israeli natural gas, and that they are in talks with the partners in the Tamar gas field, Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), Isramco Ltd. (Nasdaq: ISRL; TASE: ISRA.L), and Alon Natural Gas Exploration Ltd. (TASE: ALGS).
The Palestine Power Generating Company (PPGC) has a license from the Palestinian Authority to build and operate a 600-megawatt power station in the Jenin area. The power station will initially generate 200 megawatts. The project also includes expanding the Palestinian power station in Gaza, and is intended to help the Palestinian Authority meet its own electricity needs, as well as bringing it into the era of natural gas.
Construction of the power station will render it unnecessary for Israel to build an 800-megawatt power station now. The Palestinian population in the West Bank currently consumes 8% of the electricity generated by Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22).
PPGC has sent its venture to the Ministry of National Infrastructures for evaluation, after receiving provisional approval from the Prime Minister's Office. Government sources told "Globes" that the Prime Minister's Office is examining political aspects of the proposal, while the Ministry of National Infrastructures is examining the technical and professional aspects.
The sources said that the Israeli government has not yet formulated its final position on the Palestinian proposal, but it has the impression that the proposal is serious. Israeli cooperation is necessary primarily in order to hook the planned power station to the natural gas pipeline network. Israel Natural Gas Pipeline Company is currently building a pipeline in the Megiddo area, only a few kilometers from Jenin.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 28, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011