LNG Gas to Start Flowing Into Israel

Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL) has completed construction of a marine liquefied natural gas receiving buoy, from which the flow of gas into Israel’s transmission lines is slated to begin on Friday.

Energy officials at a launching ceremony on Thursday hailed the buoy as capable of relieving the country’s gas shortage until the onset of the Tamar reservoir this April, but also said the facility would remain a key component to Israel’s energy security future. The buoy, a Submerged Turret Loading Buoy , will serve as a connection point to the LNG gasification ships, which will unload natural gas directly to the maritime portion of the national transmission system at a volume of about 1.5 billion to 2 billion cubic meters per year.

In just its first weeks running, the government expects the buoy to save the Israeli energy market about NIS 500 million, a number that will expand to billions of shekels in coming years, according to INGL.

“This is the final stage for a great beginning in order to secure energy independence for the first time in Israel,” INGL chairman Ron Haimovsky told The Jerusalem Post prior to the launch ceremony at the Hadera Port on Thursday morning. “LNG will bridge the gap in the period of time between now and Tamar, but in addition will continue to supply natural gas – which is cleaner and cheaper to industry.”

Following a decision to import LNG made by Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau 22 months ago, INGL signed a NIS 500m. agreement with the Italian company MICOPERI in October 2011 for the design, manufacture and construction of the gas transmission buoy.

After negotiations with the residents of Hadera, the buoy was situated with their approval 10 kilometers west of the port. This week, the Israel Electric Corporation employed a leased gasification ship to conduct final system checks before the regular gas flow was set to begin on Friday, INGL said.

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