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IEC threatens initiated power cuts over PA debt

Electric Corp management says it will pursue series of measures, including property and tax money confiscation, initiated blackouts in West Bank, Gaza in attempt to collect NIS 700 million debt

The management of the Israel Electric Corp. issued a warning to the east Jerusalem electricity company, saying it will "take severe and extensive legal action" against it over an unpaid debt of NIS350 million (about $87 million) for electricity supply, Calcalist reported on Monday.


The warning was the first official appeal made by the Electric Corp, after it had attempted to collect the debt for six months through the Finance Ministry and asked Energy Minister Uzi Landau to personally intervene on the matter.


According to the report, the Electric Corp. also asked Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz for immediate funds of NIS 3 billion (about $75 million) in order to guarantee smooth operations through the summer season.


The additional funds are needed due to a gap between the cost of fuels used by the company as predicted last spring and their actual cost during the summer months – a season that saw an increase of 10%-15% in nationwide consumption.


During an emergency meeting called by Electric Corp President and CEO Eli Glickman, it became clear that the Palestinian Authority accumulated a total debt of NIS700 million (about $175 million) – a sum that would equal a 3% drop in electricity rates.


Glickman suggested four different measures with which to collect the debt, including confiscation of property owned by the east Jerusalem power company (which provides electricity to the Palestinian territories), initiated power cuts in different areas and for limited periods of time, confiscation of Palestinian Authority tax money that is to be paid to Israel and a uniform reduction of the supply of electricity to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Glickman instructed the management to pursue all four options with the aim of collecting at least half the debt over the next 30 days.


The Electric Corp refused to issue a statement in response.





פרסום ראשון: 08.15.12, 07:53
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