Rutenberg power station

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of proposed coal plants worldwide.

Rutenberg power station is a 2,250-megawatt (MW) power station in Ashkelon, Israel.

Project D was a proposed 1,260 MW expansion.


The undated satellite photo below shows the Rutenberg power station in Ashkelon.

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Background on Plant

Rutenberg power station, named for Pinhas Rutenberg, is owned and operated by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC). The power station has a total installed capacity of 2,250 MW. It is arranged in two blocks, Blocks A and B, each containing two power generating units (2 x 575 MW and 2 x 550 MW). Construction began in the early 1980s, after completion of the first phase of the Orot Rabin power station near Hadera. Phase A became operational in 1990-1991, and Phase B in 2000-2001. Coal was supplied by train from the Port of Ashdod until an on-site deepwater coal pier was completed in 2000.[1][2]

Planned retirements and conversions

In December 2018, the Israeli government said it would stop the use of coal by 2030.[3] In November 2019, the Israeli government said it would stop the use of coal sooner, by 2025. One unit at the Rutenberg power station will be closed by 2022, while the other three units at the facility will be converted to use natural gas by the end of 2024.[4]

Proposed expansion: Project D

A Phase D expansion was approved in 2008. According to a 2010 story in the Jerusalem Post, the project was later changed to a gas-fired project.[5]

However, in a 2012 slide presentation by Israel Electric Corp. (IEC), Project D was still characterized as a coal plant. The presentation described Project D as comprising two 630 MW units, to be commissioned in 2018 and 2019.[6]

France’s national Électricité de France (EDF) had considered building the plant with Israel, but in 2014 it was reported that IEC would build the power station independently, and hold 100% of the ownership. It was also stated that the power station would be dual fuel.[7]

In December 2015 Israel's energy minister said instead of the planned coal units, he will promote a feasibility study for building a nuclear energy power station, in order to meet government targets for reducing carbon emissions.[8] In April 2016 the Israeli Cabinet approved a plan to invest US$212 million in loans and grants for increased energy efficiency to “lead to a reduction in sickness caused by pollution.” The government also flagged the prospect of reducing coal use by switching to gas and increasing renewables. The decision suggests the proposed 1260 MW dual-fuel Project D plant, if it proceeds, is likely to be gas-fired.[9]

Expansion project cancelled

In November 2016, the Electricity Authority delivered to the Minister of National Energy the recommendation to cancel Project D.[10]

In April 2017 Israel's energy and water minister Yuval Steinitz said the country plans to reduce coal use to less than 10% of the fuel mix in the production of electricity by 2025.[11]


In January 2011, Greenpeace organized protests against the proposed plant. Activists climbed the Jerusalem Chords Bridge and unveiled an 18-meter banner calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the project. The posters, which were placed in view of the Prime Minister's office, read: "Bibi stop the coal plant."[12]

Project Details of Phase D

  • Sponsor: Israel Electric Corp.
  • Parent company:
  • Developer:
  • Location: Ashkelon, Southern District, Israel
  • Coordinates: 31.6677251, 34.5646541 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 630 MW
    • Unit 2: 630 MW
  • Type:
  • Start date:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:
  • Permits and applications:

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