The Ashdod port continues on its path of innovation, and sets another goal in the effort to remove the restrictions against the entry of technology into the port. Thanks to a joint venture with the Ministry of Energy, the Ashdod port company will be the first port company to provide all of its own energy needs. The process, which will begin this year, will include, among other things, the implementation of innovative energy production, use of natural gas as a clean source of energy and installing solar panels, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting back the operational expenditures of the port. In addition, through a tender of the Electricity Authority, the port will receive a grant to construct an in-house power plant to produce electricity using natural gas. The grant of 9.5 million shekels will be given over the course of 10 years starting from the day the station begins operating.
The subject was discussed today (Monday) in a meeting between the chair of the Ashdod Port, Orna Hausman Bechor and professional elements from the Ministry of Energy - Deputy Director General for Energy Infrastructures and Water Resources Yechezkel Lifshitz, the Managing Director of Fuel Authority Chen Bar-Yosephof, the Natural Resources authority, and representatives of the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Energy. During the visit, the parties discussed the process which will lead the Ashdod port to meet the national goal of reducing electricity consumption by the year 2030, and even surpassing this goal.
This is part of a wide scale process which will include comprehensive improvements in the energy efficiency of the ports facilities, mainly those who are defined as major energy consumers. In addition, an upgrade will be performed on the air conditioning systems, old and inefficient lighting fixtures will be replaced with more efficient systems, and electricity monitoring, optimization and control systems will be installed.
In order to create the largest amount of electricity possible, a complete mapping of the harbor roof-top surfaces will be conducted in order to install electricity producing panels. When the construction activities are completed, the port will become an independent manufacturer of electricity. In addition, the port will encourage the use of electric vehicles for operational purposes, will create charging stations for such vehicles in the port compound and construct a fueling station for truck using compressed natural gas.
Approximately six month ago the Ashdod port company contracted the "Southern Natural Gas" company to be in charge of connecting the Ashdod Port to the national distribution network in the year 2021. This will be part of the company's preparations for the main project of constructing a 5 mega-watt in-house power plant to produce electricity using natural gas. In 2020 the Ashdod port will publicize a tender for the planning, construction, running and upkeep of the power plant, which will supply most of the port's electrical energy needs.
Recently the Electricity Authority initiated a tender process to determine the winners of a grant for building an in-house power station that will be connected to the distribution grid. Upon their expected initiation of operation in 2020, the stations are planned to pay administrative fees to the electric company for every megawatt they produce for their own use. The grant is intended to serve as monetary compensation for the winners of the tender, by reducing the amount they need to pay for the administrative costs.
Orna Hausman Bechor, the chair of the Ashdod port, stated: "this is a significant step led by the company's board of directors to change the course of things at the Ashdod port; to continue inspiring a new spirit which translates to innovative, economic and environmental steps. For me this step is a form of closure of a process which began when I served as the director or the Ministry of Energy. This extensive process of transforming the port to become environmentally friendly proves once again how willing we are to embrace innovation in all its aspects, and is an additional step in the port's preparation for upcoming competition by being the most advanced and innovative port. Receiving the grant will assist us in realizing the project, while performing extensive energy improvements in the ports facilities, a contribution to the environment of using clean energy and reducing the port's expenses".
Deputy Director General for Energy Infrastructures and Water Resources Yechezkel Lifshitz: "this joint venture by the ministry of energy and the Ashdod port will assist the port in saving energy costs and will place it in the front line along with advanced companies which manage energy consumption wisely. Realizing this initiative in a variety of fields will promote the port, as well as those receiving services from the port, in all the aspects relevant for the energy field, and will assist the Ministry of Energy in meeting the challenging goals it is working towards".