Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz dedicated the arrival of the foundation for the Leviathan gas platform on Thursday.
Following a tour, the two stood on the command bridge, near the drilling site, where they were told about the process behind building the platform.
“Completion of the Leviathan gas platform and the pumping of gas from this field later in the year is a critical component of the strategic, energy, economic and diplomatic strength of the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu. “A gas pipeline will run from here and will link us to the gas economy of Europe. It will reach our Arab neighbors.”
Elaborating, the prime minister said that “it will supply clean gas to the citizens of Israel. Two-thirds of every shekel’s worth of gas extracted from the sea here will go straight into the state treasury. This is hundreds of billions of shekels that will serve us in education, social welfare and the other vital needs of the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel.”
“This is a great revolution; we are turning the State of Israel into an energy power,” he continued. “An independent Israel will not depend on anyone for its energy needs. This is very good news, and I am proud that it is happening now, this year, for all of you.”
Steinitz echoed Netanyahu’s sentiment, saying, “This is a holiday for the energy economy and for all citizens of Israel. The process that began approximately three years ago with the formulation of the gas outline has led to the development of the Leviathan gas field, which will change the Israeli economy for decades to come, bring billions in revenue to the state and its citizens, and most importantly, allow the State of Israel to stop using coal that pollutes, and to close the power stations in Hadera and Ashkelon.”
The operational part of the platform is scheduled to arrive later this year and will be situated on the foundation, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office. Natural gas from the area is expected to be released by the end of the year.