Israel Electric signs joint power venture with Palestinian Authority
The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has agreed in principle to supply electricity to the Palestinian Authority.
The deal, approved by Israel’s Ministry of Infrastructure, was signed by an official of the IEC, PA electric distribution company representatives and the Italian Ambassador to Israel, Giulio Terzi di Sant'agata, reported Haaretz.
The agreement is part of a wider cooperation scheme signed October 30, 2003, between the Israel infrastructure ministry and the Palestinian Ministry of Energy. Di Sant’agata informed both sides that the European Union (EU) plans to financially support the venture, estimated by IEC to be worth tens of millions of dollars.
EU assistance will finance the construction of a high voltage line from Netivot in Israel to the Gaza Strip. It will also fund the installation of transformers and a power substation for the West Bank. There is also talk of building a private power station to be jointly owned by Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinians are almost fully dependent on Israel for their electrical power. The East Jerusalem Electric Company buys and distributes electricity to Palestinians in East Jerusalem and its concession in the West Bank. Some Palestinian municipalities, such as Nablus and Jenin, generate their own electricity from small power plants.
The PA was planning to build an independent power grid after receiving a financing offer by an American-Palestinian consortium. The $100 million project was scheduled to be completed by November 2000, but was abandoned with the rise of the Palestinian Intifada in September that same year.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, some 13 percent of West Bank and Gaza localities do not have an electricity network. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)