Israel Considers Power Shortage for Summer (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Chana Ya´ar 05/10/12)
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Israel is considering ways to deal with an impending power shortage
this summer after Egypt reneged on its contract to supply natural
gas to the Jewish State.
The state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) informed
Israel´s East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG) last month that it was
unilaterally canceling the agreement, included in a financial
appendix to the peace treaty with Egypt signed in 1979.
The original appendix stated that Egypt was to supply Israel with
oil, but several years ago the language was changed to replace the
oil with the amount of gas required by the state for a specified
period, in exchange for payment.
Energy conservation is likely to become to centerpiece of a new
effort to raise awareness about the crisis, according to Energy and
Water Minister Uzi Landau.
"We intend to launch a public relations campaign to educate the
public on the importance of conservation of energy,” Landau said. "In
this way and through other means, we hope to safely get through the
summer,” he added.
Meanwhile, the government is exploring alternative means for
supplying electricity. Nevertheless, the ministry has warned there
may be occasional power outages this summer.
The Israel Electric Company last month asked the ministry to declare
a state of emergency for electricity, which would allow the company
to announce occasional stoppages in order to ensure supply.
Because terrorists continued to disrupt supply by sabotaging the
pipeline at least 14 times over the past year, Israel has already
learned to compensate for the loss. According to a statement last
month by Citi Capital Markets, the energy crisis is not likely to
damage Israel in the long run.
“Although the Israeli Ministry of Finance estimated that Egyptian gas
suspensions have cost Israel NIS 15bn (1.7% GDP), we don´t think that
the damage to Israel is particularly visible,” the company said. “And
since Israel´s offshore gas field Tamar is due to begin production in
April 2013, any further domestic shortfalls are likely to be
relatively brief.” (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/10/12)
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