Wednesday, 12 July 2017 | They call it a “historic” deal, the first of its kind between Israel and the Palestinians. On Monday, the Jewish state’s Energy, Water and National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz, and Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, were among the high-ranking officials who gathered in a field outside the Palestinian-governed city of Jenin to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the inauguration of a Palestinian-run power plant.
The Al-Jalameh Substation, which The Times of Israel describes as “the first-ever piece of Palestinian-owned electricity infrastructure,” is the first of four stations to be constructed in Judea and Samaria that will operate under the management of the PA. Part of a landmark agreement signed between the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and the PA in 2016, the additional three sites will be located near Ramallah in the center, Shechem in the north and Hebron in the south. Through these four stations, the PA will ultimately have the necessary electricity flow to power up the towns and cities it governs.
The agreement between the IEC and the PA is aimed at establishing a structure to regulate the supply of electricity between Israel and the Palestinians, who have for years accumulated billions of shekels in debt, and will see part of the responsibility of power distribution to the Palestinian people taken over by the PA.
“This is definitely an encouraging historic moment in which we are inaugurating the first substation in the Palestinian Authority,” Steinitz shared during the ceremony. “Israel is interested in improving the Palestinian economy, and here we have a project that is beneficial for both parties.”
He labeled the initiative a “win-win situation.”
“It is good for Palestinians because they will get more electricity, which will be more stable and of higher quality. It is good for Israel because…the responsibility [for Palestinian electricity] will not fall on the shoulders of the Israeli Electric Corporation,” Steinitz explained.
The substation will initially operate at a partial capacity of 60 MW. At full capacity, it will, however, provide between 120-150 MW.
At present, the substation does not possess the capacity to generate electricity and will still buy its power from the IEC. However, once the electricity leaves Israeli hands, it becomes the responsibility of the PA.
The ICE built the substation, using both Israeli and Palestinian workers and also trained Palestinians to work in, maintain and manage the site. The substation is owned by both the PA and the Palestinian Electric Authority (PEA).
According to The Times of Israel, the international community, funded in part by USAID, the European Investment Bank, Italy, Norway and the European Union, purchased the substation for the Palestinians at a cost of 12 million euros [US $13.8 million].
Publicado en julio 17, 2017
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