Israel forced to spend more on fuel

Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:49 AM
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HERZLIYA, Israel, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Israel has to spend an additional $1.5 million a day on alternative fuels due to the halt in gas supplies from Egypt, an Israeli official said.

Shaul Zemah, director general of the National Infrastructure Ministry, said since the terrorist bombing of the gas pipeline Saturday, Egypt has halted gas exports, forcing Israel's Electric Corp. to use alternative fossil fuels such as diesel and a low quality fuel oil that cost 10 times more than natural gas, Haaretz reported Wednesday.

"The first, most important thing that needs to enter the public discourse is energy security. This is something that is starting to concern many countries around the world, and it should concern us, too," Zemah told the Herzliya Conference on The Balance of Israel's National Strength and Security, the newspaper said.

"We won't let natural gas be exported until we're sure we've taken everything into account to make sure Israel has energy security."

Approximately 40 percent of Israel's electricity production is from natural gas of which nearly half comes from Egypt, the newspaper said.

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