The use of coal for electricity production has been increasingly replaced by natural gas in recent years.

The country’s largest power plant, the heavily-polluting Orot Rabin station near Hadera, will be largely converted to natural gas production by mid-2022, according to a decision reached by the National Planning and Building Board on Tuesday.
No later than June 2022, two combined-cycle power generators, using both a gas and steam turbine to produce approximately 1,200 mega-watts of electricity, will replace four of the six coal-powered production units at the power station. The plans, which received government approval in August 2018, will now be transferred to the housing cabinet for approval.

Commissioned in 1981, the Orot Rabin plant produces 2,500 mega-watts of energy, amounting to almost 20% of the Israel Electric Corporation’s total capacity. The four units scheduled for conversion were built in the 1980s and are the most-polluting generators nationwide. The remaining two units started generating electricity in 1996 and are equipped with scrubbers to limit gaseous emissions.
“This is an important step in the implementation of the electricity market reform that I have led, and it joins the Energy Ministry’s efforts to promote the reduction of coal use,” said Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who announced in November plans for Israel to enter into a coal-free era of power production by the end of 2025, five years earlier than originally targeted.
The use of coal for electricity production has been increasingly replaced by natural gas in recent years, with coal-fired power plants generating 30% of national electricity needs by 2018, compared to 59% in 2010. According to Energy Ministry plans, the Rutenberg Power Station near Ashkelon is also expected to be powered entirely by natural gas by 2024.
“These actions, together with the canceled construction of an additional coal-fired power plant, have led to Israel being the world’s leading country in reducing coal over the years, which means we all breathe cleaner air,” Steinitz added.
Under the government’s plans, the coal-powered production units in Hadera will entirely cease operations but will be maintained as backup infrastructure in case of emergency demand.