The National Planning and Building Commission today narrowed the possible sites for natural gas terminals to receive gas from offshore fields to five: the Ein Ayala quarry; the Hagit private power station; the Hadera sewage treatment plant; the Meretz sewage treatment plant at the Emek Hefer industrial zone; and Dor North. The selected sites will now undergo environmental surveys, after which two finalists will be chosen for advanced planning.
The approval process is scheduled to be completed in August 2013, under the fast-track procedure recommended by Prime Minister's Office director general Harel Locker. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attributes great importance to the project, in order to improve the reliability of the natural gas flow from Israel's offshore fields.
The local authorities in whose jurisdiction the proposed terminals are located strongly oppose them. The mayors held an emergency meeting yesterday ahead of today's National Planning Commission meeting.
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel said today, "It is important to promote the use of natural gas, with all its environmental and health advantages, so this is a worthy decision. The use of natural gas should be promoted as part of a comprehensive economy-wide perspective, and for the sake of the public interest, while scrupulously ensuring that the plans will include risks surveys to review the safety aspects of the facilities. The process should be transparent and with the cooperation of the public in the planning procedures."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 3, 2012
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