oPt

Palestinian Authority to use European Union PEGASE funds to improve electricity network

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The Palestinian National Authority has awarded six contracts worth over €10 million Euros, provided by the European Union through PEGASE, to buy vital supplies to upgrade the electricity network throughout the occupied Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian Energy and National Resources Authority (PENRA), which is part of the Palestinian Authority, will soon begin a widespread programme to rehabilitate the electricity network, making it safer and more efficient, in 168 camps, villages and cities across the West Bank. The European Union contribution of €10.15 million will procure the necessary equipment (poles, cables and transformers) to enable this vital rehabilitation work to go ahead.

The European Commission Representative in Jerusalem, Mr. John Kjaer, said "We fully support the Palestinian Authority's efforts to provide better public services to the Palestinian people. Upgrading the electricity network throughout the territory will have a positive impact not only on individual houses but also on business. This all helps to improve the quality of life of Palestinians and boost the local economy."

Dr. Omar Kittaneh, Chairman of the Palestinian Energy Authority said " I want to place on the record my deep sense of gratitude to the European Commission Representative Mr. John Kjaer for his great support to the Palestinian people and in particular to the electricity sector. Most of the villages, camps and cities in West Bank will benefit from this vital project through the rehabilitation of the medium voltage and low voltage networks, the removal of the danger and hazards from the old networks, a reduction in the technical losses and an increase in the system's reliability, which in turn will improve the provision of electricity to the Palestinian people."

PEGASE is the main financing mechanism of the European Union, the largest donor to the Palestinians. In 2008, the European Union has committed over €67 million to support the development of infrastructure projects. The funds are part of an overall EU assistance package that was pledged at the Paris donor conference in December 2007. The European Union's assistance programmes through PEGASE address the priority needs of the Palestinian people, as identified by the Palestinian authority.

Contact:

Eng. Jamal AbuGhosh, PMU Director, Palestinian Energy Authority, 02 2984753
Alix de Mauny, Press and Information Manager, European Commission, 054 8024915
Haifa Siam, Press and Information Officer, European Commission, 02 541 5888