Rutenberg power station
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of proposed coal plants worldwide.|
Rutenberg power station is a 2,250-megawatt (MW) power station in Ashkelon, Israel.
Project D was a proposed 1,260 MW expansion.
The undated satellite photo below shows the Rutenberg power station in Ashkelon.
Rutenberg power station, named for Pinhas Rutenberg, is owned and operated by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC). The power station has a total installed capacity of 2,250 MW. It is arranged in two blocks, Blocks A and B, each containing two power generating units (2 x 575 MW and 2 x 550 MW). Construction began in the early 1980s, after completion of the first phase of the Orot Rabin power station near Hadera. Phase A became operational in 1990-1991, and Phase B in 2000-2001. Coal was supplied by train from the Port of Ashdod until an on-site deepwater coal pier was completed in 2000.
Planned retirements and conversions
In December 2018, the Israeli government said it would stop the use of coal by 2030.
Starting in November 2019, the Israeli government said it would stop the use of coal sooner, by 2025.
The air emissions permit for Unit 3 was originally set to expire in March 2020. In January 2020, the IEC requested an 8.5 month postponement so that it could install a selective catalytic reduction (SCR), which would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from the unit. The Ministry rejected the request but granted a 2.5 month extension beyond the original closure date, and the IEC then requested a revision of its emissions permit. 
IEC then followed up saying the coronavirus crisis left it unable to work on Unit 3 as it had planned, and asked the Ministry to reconsider its original request for the 8.5 month closure delay. In addition, because that period would end just before winter, IEC claimed it would need an additional 3.5 months on top of that. The Ministry noted that in order to approve that request, the IEC would have to disable some of the coal-fired units at IEC's Orot Rabin power station which don't have scrubbers.
The permit appears to have been amended starting May 27, 2020.
Jellyfish were reported to have caused problems for the power station in July 2019 and 2020 by blocking up the power station's operating systems.
Project D Expansion
Expansion project proposed
A Phase D expansion was approved in 2008. According to a 2010 story in the Jerusalem Post, the project was later changed to be a gas-fired project.
However, in a 2012 slide presentation by IEC, Project D was still characterized as a coal plant. The presentation described Project D as comprising two 630 MW units to be commissioned in 2018 and 2019.
France’s national Électricité de France (EDF) had considered building the plant with Israel, but in 2014 it was reported that IEC would build the power station independently and hold 100% of the ownership. It was also stated that the power station would be dual fuel.
In December 2015, Israel's energy minister said instead of the planned coal units, he would promote a feasibility study for building a nuclear energy power station in order to meet government targets for reducing carbon emissions. In April 2016, the Israeli Cabinet approved a plan to invest US$212 million in loans and grants for increased energy efficiency to “lead to a reduction in sickness caused by pollution.” The government also flagged the prospect of reducing coal use by switching to gas and increasing renewables. The decision suggested the proposed 1,260 MW dual-fuel Project D plant, if it proceeds, is likely to be gas-fired.
Expansion project cancelled
In November 2016, the Electricity Authority delivered to the Minister of National Energy the recommendation to cancel Project D.
In April 2017, Israel's energy and water minister Yuval Steinitz said the country plans to reduce coal use to less than 10% of the fuel mix in the production of electricity by 2025.
In January 2011, Greenpeace organized protests against the proposed plant. Activists climbed the Jerusalem Chords Bridge and unveiled an 18-meter banner calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the project. The posters, which were placed in view of the Prime Minister's office, read: "Bibi stop the coal plant."
Project Details of Phase D
- Sponsor: Israel Electric Corp.
- Parent company:
- Location: Ashkelon, Southern District, Israel
- Coordinates: 31.6677251, 34.5646541 (approximate)
- Status: Cancelled
- Unit 1: 630 MW
- Unit 2: 630 MW
- Start date:
- Coal Type:
- Coal Source:
- Source of financing:
- Permits and applications:
Articles and resources
- Rutenberg power station, Wikipedia, accessed November 2017
- Rutenberg power station, Global Energy Observatory, accessed November 2017
- "Israel to stop electricity production from coal by 2030," Reuters, December 17, 2018
- "The Structure of the Energy Sector in Israel," Ministry of Energy, State of Israel, March 2021
- "Israel to end coal era by 2025: energy minister," Xinhua Net, November 13, 2019
- "Heavily-polluting Hadera power plant to be converted to natural gas," the Jerusalem Post, January 7, 2020
- “Corona Consequences - Electric Co. Asks Ministry for Another Delay in Shutdown of 3rd Unit at Rutenberg Power Plant,” Ministry of Environmental Protection, May 14, 2020
- "Air emission permits" search results," accessed June 11, 2021
- "תיקון ושינוי מס' 4 בהיתר פליטה לפי חוק אוויר נקי, התשס"ח-2008: תחנת הכוח "רוטנברג," אגף איכות אוויר ושינוי אקלים, May 2020
- "Thousands of jellyfish, one sea turtle found in Rotenberg Power Station," the Jerusalem Post, July 9, 2020
- EHUD ZION WALDOKS, "All coal-fired power stations to get filters," Jerusalem Post, December 27, 2010
- "Israel Electric Corporation Strategic Aspects Overview," Israel Electric Corp., November 2012, page 36
- "IEC freezes partnership with French electricity co EDF," Globes, June 25, 2014
- "Israel's Energy Ministry proposes nuclear plant," Globes, December 3, 2015
- "Israel approves plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions," Times of Israel, April 12, 2016
- "The Israel Electric Corporation Ltd. Financial Reports for the Nine and Three Months Ended September 30, 2016," page 54
- "Israel targets coal-for-power use at less than 10% of fuel mix by 2025," Platts, April 5, 2017
- Yael Darel, "Greenpeace: Bibi, stop coal plant," ynet, January 18, 2011