Ashdod Port Company’s Chairman of the Board Orna Hozman Bechor and Company CEO Yitzchak Blumenthal have signed an agreement with Negev Gas, represented by the company’s Chairman Eyal Nachman and CEO Moshe Shpitzer
The agreement signed today, Wednesday 17th April, between Ashdod Port Company and Negev Natural Gas South, is an additional step that management is staking to lead the port towards energy independence and will save millions of shekels in energy costs.
The gas distribution agreement guarantees establishment of the physical infrastructure of the gas pipeline within the operational area of the Port Company and a constant flow of natural gas throughout the agreement period.
The gas will serve for heating a private power station, which will be built in the port area, with a capacity of 5 MW. The power station will supply the energy needs of the port on a day-to-day basis and during emergencies. Alongside the energy independence the port will be able to save about ILS4M (€1M) in annual electricity expenses.
In addition to the electricity production the Port Company is considering a number of complementary projects that have become possible thanks to the port being hooked dup to the natural gas delivery system. The company is examining the possibility of using the residual heat energy from the power station to establish a cooling building inside the port. In addition, the option of setting up a gas fueling station for the container terminal tractors at the port and setting up a micro liquification station for production of liquid natural gas (LNG) to fuel terminal tractors, heavy vehicles and operational equipment is being considered.
The natural gas that will flow to the delivery infrastructure of Ashdod Port is an efficient, cheap and clean alternative to energy sources such as fuel oil, diesel fuel and gasoline, which are also used to produce energy, but cause much more pollution and are much more expensive.
Chairman of the Board of the Port Company Orna Hozman Bechor said: “This is an exciting day with great national importance. I have come full circle since my time as Director General of the Ministry of Energy, where I did a lot to promote this matter. Ashdod Port is Israel’s economic gate, and now it is also the gas energy gate. The port is a strategic asset for hooking up gas to the south and to the surrounding factories. This is an important process that advances the company’s preparedness for competition and reduces the cost of living. The Board of Directors identified the revolution that is going to take place in the shipping world and the need for green operation of the ports and shipping. This agreement is meant to address this challenge. I believe that it is only a matter of time before ships will also be operated with gas and we must be prepared for all scenarios”.
Yitzchak Blumenthal, CEO of Ashdod Port Company, added: “We are entering a period that may lead to applications of the use of gas in various areas, all of which we may not be able to anticipate today. Hooking up Ashdod Port to gas is a fundamental pillar in advancing the organization and developing modern green infrastructure. One of the important benefits for the port of hooking the company up to gas is the electric advantages (a solution for a constant flow of electricity) that it provides in challenging periods, especially in light of the needs to operate the company’s cranes electrically."