Below we have collated select energy sector updates relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic for your review.
New Emergency Regulations
On March 25, 2020, the Israeli Government issued new Emergency Regulations (the Novel Coronavirus) (Validity Extension and Deadline Postponements), 5780-2020 (the "Regulations").
According to the Regulations, and subject to certain exclusions therein, Regulatory Approvals (as defined therein1) which are scheduled to expire between March 10, 2020 and May 10, 2020 (the "Term") shall be extended by an additional two (2) months as of their original expiration date, unless specifically conditioned or terminated in accordance with any applicable laws. The Regulations further stipulate that subject to certain conditions therein and for as long as the Regulations are in effect, certain deadlines within proceedings which involve monetary sanctions (as specified therein) shall be postponed by 3 (three) months. Lastly, the Regulations permit Gas Suppliers (as defined in the Gas Law (Safety and Licensing), 5749-1989) to continue to provide gas for domestic-use gas installations, even after the due date for the next periodical inspection has passed, provided that the Gas Supplier has not been made aware of any suspected malfunctions in the installation.
Ministry of Energy – New Coronavirus Webpage
The Israeli Ministry of Energy has recently published a new Coronavirus Webpage in the Ministry website, providing guidance and information about the energy sector's preparations for coping with the Coronavirus outbreak.
The webpage features a Q&A Section, which provides answers frequently asked questions on a wide range of energy related topics, as well as a Section dedicated to information on State of Emergency Operation of the Energy Sector. The webpage also features a Letter from the Minister of Energy regarding the expected performance of the energy sector during the Coronavirus Pandemic, which includes, among other things, the following instructions:
- The energy sector must strictly adhere to the Ministry of Health's guidelines and the guidelines of the Ministry of Energy.
- To the greatest extent possible, gatherings of all or most of the senior management of each entity are to be avoided.
- Each entity is requested to prepare "reserve forces" with the ability to take over the positions of key personnel, in the event that they are required to quarantine. A suggested way of achieving this is by contacting former employees who have retired within the past 10 years.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.