JERUSALEM, (Apr. 30)
The Finance Ministry announced approval today of an agreement with foreign investors, headed by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, to invest $20,000,000 to build the projected 16-inch oil pipeline from Elath to Beershcha.
The present Elath-Beersheba line, which was built during the period of the Sinai campaign, is eight inches. The Beersheba-Haifa refinery section is 16 inches. When the entire line is 16 inches, it will be able to transport 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 tons of oil annually, which is approximately the total refining capacity of the Haifa refinery plant.
The Haifa plant currently is operating at about 30 percent of capacity, supplying part of Israel’s domestic needs. When the Elath-Beersheba-Haifa pipelines are finished, and the refineries operating at full capacity, Israel may be able to supply refined oil above its own needs to European countries. The Arabs closed the Iraq-Haifa pipeline, which had supplied the Haifa refineries, when they invaded the new-born State of Israel in 1948, and it has not operated since.