Ammonia storage tank, Haifa Bay Photo: Matan Naim
According to the conditions detailed in the documents, bidders will compete for a construction grant from the State that will not exceed NIS 240 million, and will also be entitled to offer a grant to the State. In addition, an agreement that was made between Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and then-Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay, ensures the contractor would be compensated an amount not exceeding NIS 480 million if there was an extreme event that would force closure of the factory. (Kahlon is now serving as both Finance Minister and Minister of Environmental Protection, following Gabbay’s resignation in May.)
Toward the end of the summer, bidders will submit final proposals. The tender committee will announce the winner after reviewing all the proposals.
Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) Yisrael Dancziger: "Establishment of an ammonia factory, which will bring about the closure of the storage tank in Haifa, is a significant step in reducing environmental risks for residents of Israel, and especially of Haifa Bay. Construction of the factory wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for widespread governmental support, and the actions of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, former [Environmental Protection] Minister Avi Gabbay, MoEP professionals, and members of the inter-ministerial tender committee."
Minister Moshe Kahlon: "Establishment of an ammonia factory in the south will… encourage industrial growth in the south. This is an important national mission that will decrease risks for those in Haifa Bay. We will continue to work to reduce air pollution in the Haifa area – from industry, transportation, and hazardous materials, in order to ensure the health of residents."
The ammonia production factory is being established in Mishor Rotem, some 22 kilometers from the city of Dimona, in accordance with Govt. Decision No. 766. The factory will supply all of Israel’s domestic consumption of ammonia – some 120,000 tons per year in the current market. Its establishment will make it unnecessary to import ammonia, a hazardous material, into Israel. It will also result in the closure of the tank in Haifa Bay, which can hold up to 12,000 tons of ammonia.