A law to reform the government-owned Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) on Wednesday night passed its second and third Knesset readings.
The new law regulates the largest and most comprehensive reform ever undertaken in the Israeli economy, introducing significant competition and intending to benefit customers and produce a more efficient and stable electricity company.
The main points of the reform are the sale of some of the company's production sites, removal of the management system from the company, construction of two new combined cycle systems by the company, opening up electricity supply to competition, and the creation of an unprecedented efficiency array for the retirement of 1,800 employees in addition to the 1,000 recently retired.
As part of the reform, senior management will be transferred to personal contracts. In addition, the transmission and distribution systems will remain in the company as a natural monopoly, and billions of shekels will be invested both the systems and in upgrading and improving customer service to IEC customers.
IEC Chairman of the Board Yiftach Ron Tal said, "We have made history in favor of the State of Israel, the Israeli market and the citizens of the state. Each and every citizen of Israel will benefit from the investment in infrastructures, opening of the market up to competition and the optimization of IEC."
"All these will not only contribute to the stability of the market in the short term but bring about growth and a reduction in the cost of living in Israel in upcoming years.
"A special thanks to Ministers [Moshe] Kahlon (Kulanu) and [Yuval] Steinitz (Likud) for their leadership, conduct, and determination, and to the chairman of the workers Avi Nissenkorn. [I also thank] my partner Ofer Bloch, IEC CEO, [and] Miko Tzarfati, Workers Committee Chairman, a brave man, and all the partners in the long journey we have shared.
"Thanks to the reform, historic transformations will be implemented in the energy market in Israel. I am proud and blessed to have been given the right to be part of it."
IEC CEO Ofer Bloch said, "The Israeli energy market and the IEC are embarking on a new path. The real challenge we face is in implementing the reform, step by step, while maintaining the high quality of the product we provide."
"We are committed to our customers and the Israeli public [and to] providing electricity under any conditions. I believe that the management of the new electric company will lead the company to performance and to meeting targets that will put the company in the front line with any future competitor."