The Israeli National Infrastructure Committee (NIC) approved on Monday a plan to build Israel’s largest private power plant to date, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The plant, which will run on natural gas, will be located in central Israel near the city of Kfar Saba and built by Reindeer Energy Ltd., a joint partnership between Siemens AG and Israel-based Phoenix Insurance Company Ltd. The construction is estimated at between NIS two billion (around $572 million) and NIS three billion (around $858 million), not including its future gas contract, which is expected to double the funding needed.
The plant, to be established as a national infrastructure project, is expected to supply up to 1,300 megawatts, around 10% of the current capability of the Israel Electric Corporation, Israel’s largest electric power supplier. The largest private plant operating in Israel today has a 910-megawatt capacity.
Phoenix Group holds approximately 40% of Reindeer, while the remaining 60% is held by Siemens and by Reindeer’s founders, Itay Rochman and Moshe Krieger. Centerbridge Partners and Gallatin Point Capital completed a deal to buy control of Phoenix just a few days ago, meaning they are receiving an almost complete project in terms of regulatory approval. The only approval still pending is that of the Israeli government, when one is finally formed.
Since plans for the plant were first announced, many have called on the Ministries of Health and Energy to cancel it, out of concerns that it would negatively impact many people who live in the vicinity. The energy ministry and NIC, on the other hand, maintain that the plant is crucial for the purpose of supplying Israel, and especially Israel’s central district, with enough electricity.