HAIFA, Israel, November 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil Refineries Ltd. (TASE: ORL.TA) (hereinafter: the Company, ORL), Israel's largest oil refiner, announced that it has come to its knowledge that Israel's Minister for the Environmental Protection signed, on November 22, 2009, new instructions for the prevention of air pollution from the Haifa refinery, under the Prevention of Hazards Law- 1961 (hereinafter: the New Decree or New Personal Decree).
The New Personal Decree determines - among other things - that the Company must reduce, within eighteen months from the Decree becoming valid, the emission of a series of materials from its units, to levels defined in the New Decree, substantially more severe than the emission levels required today.
Reducing the emissions from the Company's units to the levels defined in the New Decree are not possible without the Company reverting to using natural gas in its units by the date defined in the New Decree.
Based on information supplied to the Company by Israel's Natural Gas Lines Ltd. (INGL), as at the date of this report, the works to lay the transmission infrastructure to the Haifa Bay are currently in advanced stages however, INGL has encountered problems in conducting the works to lay this infrastructure in part of the lands under private ownership.
In October 2009, following the Company's receipt of the draft New Personal Decree for review, and prior to its signing, the Company notified the Ministry for Environmental Protection that it has invested, based on decisions made by the Israeli Government, and representations supplied by the Government with regards to the arrival of natural gas, over NIS 150 million in preparation for the implementation of natural gas use by the refinery and its subsidiaries, as well as in conduction modifications, required based on the provisions of the decree agreed with the Ministry for Environmental Protection and the Company during 2008.
Furthermore, the Company announced that while these investments have already been completed, the Government is not meeting its commitment and natural gas is not reaching the Haifa Bay. It is not viable that the Government should demand the Company bear the costs of the Government's failure and also criticise the Company.
The Company clarified before the Ministry for Environmental Protection that this decree is of a nature that the public cannot meet and clearly deviates from reasonable discretion by the authority.
Furthermore the Company has turned to the Prime Minister for intervention to guarantee that all those involved in the natural gas transmission project to the Haifa Bay area come to their senses and fulfil their responsibilities in order to undertake the Governments' declared policy and to complete the laying of the gas transmission infrastructure.
The New Personal Decree also includes additional instructions, which the Company is currently evaluating both their meaning and implications on its current and planned activities.
The New Decree, which will replace the current Personal Decree, under which the Company currently operates, will become effective 30 days following its receipt.
The Company is currently contemplating its steps with regards to the New Personal Decree.
About Oil Refineries Ltd.
Oil Refineries Ltd. (ORL), located in the bay area of the city of Haifa, operates Israel's largest oil refinery. ORL operates sophisticated and state-of-the-art industrial facilities with refining capacity of 9.8 million tons of crude oil per year, with a Nelson complexity index of 7.4, providing a variety of quality products used in industrial operation, transportation, private consumption, agriculture and infrastructure. The Company is also active in the area of Polymers (through Carmel Olefins Ltd.) and Aromatics (through wholly-owned Gadiv Petrochemical Industries Ltd.). ORL is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker ORL. For additional information please visit the Company's website: http://www.orl.co.il
Company Contact: Rony Solonicof Chief Economist and Head of Investor Relations Oil Refineries Tel. +972-4-878-8320 ContactIREn@orl.co.il Investor Relation Contacts: Ehud Helft \ Fiona Darmon GK Investor Relations Tel. +1-646-797-2868 \ +972-52-695-4400 email@example.com
SOURCE: Oil Refineries Ltd
CONTACT: Company Contact: Rony Solonicof, Chief Economist and Head ofInvestor Relations, Oil Refineries, Tel. +972-4-878-8320,ContactIREn@orl.co.il; Investor Relation Contacts: Ehud Helft \ FionaDarmon, GK Investor Relations, Tel. +1-646-797-2868 \ +972-52-695-4400,firstname.lastname@example.org