Turkish Delegation Arrives in Gaza to Discuss Electricity Crisis

Gaza's power plant was bombed by Israel in 2014. (Photo: via Al-Jazeera)

A delegation from the Turkish Ministry of Energy has arrived in the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing on Tuesday, headed by the Turkish ambassador.

The delegation plans to meet with officials at the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip as well as with Israeli officials, in an attempt to solve the problems facing the electricity sector in Gaza.

The Turkish visit came two weeks after the normalization of relations between Turkey and Israel.

Anadolu News Agency said the delegation will submit a detailed report to the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak, including the suggestions to produce, transform and distribute energy. It will add Gaza’s infrastructure needs, and short, medium and long solutions in this regard.

The minister will report to the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Turkish Council of Ministers, to determine Turkey’s assistance regarding Gaza electricity and energy crises.

He pointed out that a number of private Turkish companies, which have experience in the fields of energy and infrastructure, have expressed readiness to contribute to meeting the needs of the Gaza Strip.

These include 400 megawatts of electricity of which only 212 megawatts are available. Israel provides 120 MW of electricity to the Gaza Strip, while Egypt provides 32 MW. Gaza’s power plant provides only 60 megawatts, according to the Palestinian Energy Authority figures.

The Turkish delegation from the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Electricity, with the Turkish ambassador, Mustafa Sarnıç, yesterday met with the Energy and Natural Resources Authority in the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, to discuss the problem.

During the meeting, the authority presented the needs of the electricity sector, in addition to discussing a number of strategic projects “that will serve as a logical solution to the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip”.

The ambassador explained that the most prominent projects that have been discussed include line 161, which provides the Gaza Strip with electricity from Israel. The meeting also discussed building a gas pipeline to run the power station in Gaza from the Israeli side, and adapting the power plant to run on natural gas, instead of industrial diesel, as well as the possibility of the expansion of the plant for up to 280 megawatts.

The Egypt line that will connect with the Gaza Strip, which will provide approximately 150 megawatts, he added.

The delegation discussed installing solar cells on homes and government and public buildings, including hospitals, and the possibility of installing prepaid electricity meters with 50 thousand meters in the first stage, to raise the percentage of claiming electricity bills.

(PC, SAMA)

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