The head of the Palestinian Energy Authority Zafer Melhem on Sunday told Voice of Palestine radio that the PA Energy Authority and Massader are about to put the final touches to their ongoing negotiations to start construction of a new power plant in Jenin, which will be the largest in the PA, as soon as possible, SAWA reported.
The Jenin Power Plant will be a gas fired Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) with a generation capacity of approximately 450 megawatts, supplied by natural gas from the Gaza Marine gas field.
The Gaza Marine natural gas field was discovered in 2000 in water that is legally under the control of the Palestinian National Authority. It is located about 22 miles offshore at a depth of 2,000 feet. The gas field remains unexploited for political reasons, although when it was first discovered it was expected to become the first large-scale collaboration between Israel and the State of Palestine, with huge rewards to both parties.
The plant is being developed through the Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC), which is supported by a leading group of PA investors including the Palestine Investment Fund, through Massader (40%), the Palestine Development and Investment Company (20%), the Palestine Telecommunications Company (10%), the Arab Bank Group (10%), the Palestine Electric Company (5%), and the Arab Palestinian Investment Company.
These investors are joined by other local investors including four important local banks, including the Bank of Palestine, Al-Quds Bank, and the Cairo-Amman Bank.
As projected, the Jenin Power Plant will satisfy approximately 50% of the PA’s current total electricity consumption. Power generation from the plant is expected to commence at the end of 2021, with a total project cost of approximately $620 million.
Or it might not.
Meanwhile, Melhem denied the Israeli Electric Company claims of accumulate debts by the Palestinian Electricity Company to the tune of 1.7 billion shekel. The PA started making payments to the IEC (from its collected taxes and customs via Israel), after the IEC threatened to cut electricity to the entire PA.