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Plans to extend gas-fired power station in Hadera stalled

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

The Haifa District Planning Committee orders that the National Infrastructure Committee relegate to its “lowest priority” plans to extend an existing gas-fired power station in the northern coastal city of Hadera, OPC 2.

The Association of Cities for Environmental Protection (Sharon Carmel), which includes 18 local authorities and represents some 700,000 residents, opposes the plan for OPC 2, especially as would be located close to schools, kindergartens and residential neighborhoods.

Hadera already suffers pollution from the Orot Rabin power station, whose four coal-fired units are set to close next year.

The Health and Environmental Protection Ministries have also questioned the wisdom of OPC 2.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz is pushing forward with plans for several new gas-fired power stations, overriding the opposition of the Environmental Protection Ministry, which does not want any.

Some time this summer, the NIC will convene to discuss which of a clutch of power plant plans to advance for government consideration. Two of them are opposed by the energy minister — Kesem, near Rosh Ha’ayin and the Arab city of Kafr Qasim in the center of the country, and the so-called Meeting of Peace, being pushed by the Reindeer Partnership, comprising Siemens, the Phoenix Insurance Company and two Israelis, for a site between Kfar Saba, north of Tel Aviv, and the nearby Palestinian city of Qalqilya in the West Bank.

Dorad in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon and OPC Rotem on the Rotem plain in southern Israel’s Negev Desert will also be considered.

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