Orot Rabin

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Orot Rabin Power Plant
Orot Rabin seen from Caesarea Maritima.jpg
Orot Rabin power plant and its coal pier, viewed from Caesarea Maritima
Coordinates32°28′12″N 34°53′22″E / 32.47°N 34.8895°E / 32.47; 34.8895Coordinates: 32°28′12″N 34°53′22″E / 32.47°N 34.8895°E / 32.47; 34.8895
Construction began1973
Commission date1981
Thermal power station
Primary fuelCoal
Secondary fuelFuel oil
Tertiary fuelCrude oil
Power generation
Units operational4 × 375 MW
2 × 575 MW
Make and modelBabcock & Wilcox
Nameplate capacity2,590 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Orot Rabin (Hebrew: אורות רבין‎, lit. Rabin Lights) is a power station, as of 2016 Israel's largest. It is currently a 2.59GW coal-fired plant, in the process of conversion to a single-shaft combined-cycle gas power plant.[1] It is situated on the Mediterranean coast in Hadera, Israel and is owned and operated by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC). The older, unmodernised four of its total six coal-fuelled units[1] will be closed by 2020 in order to eliminate this major source of air pollution in the country.[2]


Construction of the station began in 1973 and block 1 (steam boiler, turbine and generator units 1-4) began operating in stages between 1981 and 1984. A second generation block (boiler, turbine and generator units 5-6) came online in 1996. A coal port is attached directly to the station which supplies all its coal consumption needs. Its total generating capacity is 2,590MW of electricity using the six power generating units (composed of two large units and four smaller units) located at the site. The plant's overall design can accommodate two additional large generation units which could be built at a future date.

The chimneys at Orot Rabin

Originally the power station was named Maor David after David Shiffman, then-chairman of the IEC who died during its lengthy period of construction. However, after the completion of a major expansion of the station in the 1990s and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the station was renamed in his honor to Orot Rabin, Hebrew for "Rabin Lights".

Technical description[edit]

As of 2016 the plant is Israel's largest power station with its 2,590 MW representing about 19% of the Israel Electric Corporation's total generation capacity (that is, unless Phase D expansion at the Rutenberg Power Station in Ashkelon will be built, at which point the latter would surpass Orot Rabin as Israel's largest power station). The plant burns 18,000 tons of coal every 24 hours and uses 320,000 tons of seawater every hour.[3] It is also possible to operate the station using fuel oil. In 2009, a large desalination plant was built adjacent to the power station. In the mid 2010s, a fourth flue stack coupled with a scrubber (for FGD) and additional pollution control devices were connected to generation block 2 of the station, significantly reducing the amount of particulate pollution emanating from the block.

Flue-gas stack 3 of the power station is 300 metres (980 ft) tall, making it Israel's second-tallest structure after the towers of the Dimona Radar Facility, although stack 3 is no longer used since the construction of flue stack 4.

Development: replacing coal with gas[edit]


In 2016 the Israeli Ministry of Energy announced that the IEC would be ordered to shut down the older block 1 (generation units 1-4) of the station in the early the 2020s.[citation needed] A 2018 government decision has set the closure date for 2020, also ordering that the units' use be reduced progressively.[2]

The block’s production capacity will be replaced by natural gas operated combined cycle power plants, at least one of which is expected to be built in the space originally reserved for additional coal units in the northern part of the Orot Rabin site. Although shut down, units 1-4 will continue to be maintained so that they may be restarted in case of emergency (such as an extended disruption in the domestic supply of natural gas).[citation needed]


Coal units 1-4 are the oldest and most polluting ones in the coutry, producing about 25% of the main total emissions generated by all sources in the entire country.[2] Unlike block 2, as well as both blocks of the Rutenberg coal plant, a scrubber has not been fitted to the four units of Orot Rabin's block 1.[citation needed] The old, unmodernised coal-fulled units 1 through 4 pollute 10 to 1000 times more per kilowatt than natural gas-fuelled power plants, and 3 to 8 times more than a coal station fitted with scrubbers.[2]


The shutdown of coal units 1-4 will also save Israel's economy billions of shekels, and bring its electricity sector into the 21st century in accordance to developed world standards.[2]

Environmental issues[edit]

Orot Rabin has been accused of polluting the nearby Hadera Stream.[4] Greenpeace claims that the station pollutes the sea water when coal is unloaded from ships and the sea water used for cooling the plant ends up in the Hadera River which harms wildlife.[3]

On the other hand, hot water gushing from the plant draws schools of hundreds of sandbar and dusky sharks every winter. Scientists are researching the rare phenomenon, which is unknown in the vicinity. It is speculated that the water, which is ten degrees warmer than the rest of the sea, may be the attraction.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Orot Rabin Modernization Project, NS Energy, 2019, accessed 28/09/2019
  2. ^ a b c d e Government OKs Decision to Shut Coal-Fired Power Plants in Hadera by 2022, Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection, 09/08/2018, accessed 28/09/2019
  3. ^ a b Paz, Shelley (2007-03-01). "Greenpeace Protests at Hadera Power Plant". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  4. ^ Ashkenazy, Daniella (2008-09-17). "Hadera's lost lagoons". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  5. ^ Sharks drawn to warm waters by Israeli coastal power plant