Israel to build two natural gas power units amid plan to end coal usage

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A government panel approved an Israeli Energy Ministry proposal to build two power units to be operated solely with natural gas as part of a plan to eliminate coal usage by 2025 and improve air quality, the ministry said on Tuesday.

The two units are slated to be completed in 2022 and will supply 1,200 megawatts of power, replacing four coal-fired production units, it said.

They will be built at a power plant in the central city of Hadera, which currently has six coal generation units, providing 2,500 megawatts of electricity.

The two newest units were installed to reduce emissions and minimize the environmental impact, the ministry noted.

Coal usage in producing electricity dropped to 30% in 2018 from 59% in 2010, leading to a 50% decline in air pollution the past five years, it added.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen