Photo Credit: Ilan Malester, Ministry of Environmental Protection
The ammonia tank in Haifa.

Workers from the Haifa Chemicals company raised a protest tent Wednesday evening outside the plant, as well as a protest gathering inside as well.

The demonstration followed an announcement by the company earlier in the day that it is closing its doors and laying off 800 employees in Haifa and at its plant near the northern Negev town of Arad.


In a curt statement released Wednesday, the company said, “Haifa Chemicals management has decided to close the company, and is forced to fire all of its employees.”

The news comes in response to a decision several months ago that the company’s giant ammonia tank in Haifa Bay must be shut down and somehow relocated to a safer spot. The tank holds 12,000 tons of ammonia, a component in producing fertilizer and explosives, among other products.

The tank has been deemed a major health, environmental and security hazard for years, but the company has fought the shutdown in court.