Half of Israel's electricity is produced from natural gas, compared with 38% in the past, says Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) SVP regulation, media and government relations Oren Helman. Speaking at a Cultural Saturday in Holon, he said, "IEC is marking its 90th anniversary - this is its cleanest year ever for environmental quality and the production of clean, green electricity."
The last high in the use of natural gas occurred in early 2011, before the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In early February 2011, the natural gas pipeline in Sinai was blown up, and gas flow from Egypt was disrupted, ceasing altogether in 2012. In the first few months, at the order of the minister of environmental protection, IEC compensated for the shortage of Egyptian gas by over pumping from Israel's Mari B well, but overall use of natural gas fell by more than two-thirds in 2011-12.
Instead of cheaper and cleaner natural gas, IEC was forced to buy alternative more expensive and polluting fuels - diesel and industrial oil - at an extra cost of NIS 8 billion.
The hooking up of the Tamar offshore gas field to Israel's coast in late March 2013 has resulted in a sharp increase in natural gas consumption. On some days, the Tamar pipeline operates at full capacity, much sooner than projected. Israel's natural gas consumption is expected to rise sharply in the coming years, which means that, in the absence of sources of supply in addition to Tamar, the country will face a gas shortage by 2014.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 29, 2013
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