Cabinet appoints high-level committee to rule on future of Haifa Bay area

Times of Israel | Oct 26, 2020 at 1:39 AM
  • The cabinet on Sunday appointed a committee of top officials to examine the future of Haifa Bay, long home to some of the country’s worst polluting petrochemicals and heavy industries.
  • In a watershed move for them, Avi Simhon, the head of the National Economic Council which advises the Prime Minister, announced in June that the Bazan oil refineries that have largely defined Haifa’s skyline, had to be shut down within five years and replaced with a modern, green high-tech and residential hub.
  • Total shutdown, by contrast, would both reduce emissions — according to the Environmental Protection Ministry, Bazan is responsible for 25-30% of the main air pollutants in Haifa Bay — and release land, valued at NIS 7 billion to 20 billion ($2 to $5.8 billion), depending on how much would be built.