PA and Israel Agree on Cooperation in Energy Sector
Friday, March 19 2004 @ 05:52 AM EST
"Palestinians pay among the highest rates for electricity of any people around the world as prices are imposed on a monopolistic basis .."
By Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD)
The Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority and Israeli Ministry of Infrastructure have today agreed on the outline of a Joint Energy Office that aims to facilitate coordination of energy matters and improve the electricity supply for the Palestinian population.
The parties also began negotiations to streamline the supply and exchange of electricity as well as restructure the tariff of electricity to the benefit of Palestinian consumers.
Palestinians pay among the highest rates for electricity of any people around the world as prices are imposed on a monopolistic basis, negatively affecting the development of the Palestinian electricity distribution sector. Palestinian electricity infrastructure is also substandard in relation to the sums of money paid for the electricity and in relation to the infrastructure in neighboring countries.
The parties agreed to examine the priority projects for the supply of electricity in the Occupied Gaza Strip and emergency electricity infrastructure projects of common interest as identified in previous agreements. The European Commission intends to promote these projects for funding by international financial institutions.
The aim of priority and emergency infrastructure projects is to increase the infrastructural capacity of the Palestinian electricity network in order to further the Euro Mediterranean Energy Ring. The benefits of the Euro Mediterranean ring will be an even cheaper and safer supply of electricity from different sources to Palestinian consumers.
In light of these understandings, the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Azzam Shawa remarked, “The establishment of the Joint Energy Office and the commercial agreements negotiations are necessary steps towards rectifying the inequities faced by Palestinians and moving towards the development of infrastructure that will enable a future Palestinian state to ensure the supply of cheaper electricity to its consumers and businesses.”