Huberman Tel-AvivNaharayimAshqelon

  • Issue: June 1991
  • Designer: R. (Beckman) Malka
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 129 - 131
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

These three stamps are dedicated to the commercial operation of the first unit in the Rutenberg power station and the inauguration of the 400KV electricity transmission system.

They show three power stations which represent three phases in the development of the electricity infrastructure in Israel: the first power station in Tel Aviv (1923), the Hydroelectric plant in Naharayim (1932) and the Rutenberg power station (1991).

The First Power Station, Tel-Aviv (1923)

In June 1923, a diesel generator, with a capacity of 300KW was inaugurated in Tel Aviv. This was the first power station which generated and supplied electric power to the public.

At first, there were some doubts as to its viability in the few neighbourhoods known as "Little Tel Aviv". However, as Tel Aviv grew, the electricity network spread through its streets and reached neighbouring towns. Two years later, additional diesel-generator power stations were inaugurated in Haifa and Tiberias.

The availability of electric power played an important role in helping to make Tel Aviv the centre of Israel's commercial life.

After the hydroelectric power station at Naharayim had become operational, the increasing demand for electricity and the need to ensure its supply to the city necessitated increased generating capacity. This led, in 1938, to the construction of a 24MW thermal power station in Tel Aviv -Reading A.

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The Yarden Hydroelectric station, Naharayim (1932)

In 1921 Pinchas Rutenberg was granted the sole concession to generate and supply electricity throughout Eretz Israel and Transjordan. Plans were drawn up for the construction of a hydroelectric station at the junction of the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers.

In 1927 work was started. The project provided hundreds of jobs and helped lay the economic foundations for many of the settlements in the area.

The 12MW Yarden Power Station in Naharayim was inaugurated in June 1932. A year later an additional 6MW unit was installed to provide more electricity for the growing national grid.

In 1948 Naharayim took part in the defence of the area and was awarded the Independence Banner. However, on May 14th, 1948 while the State of Israel was being declared in Tel Aviv, Arab troops captured Naharayim, imprisoned the workers and demolished the equipment.

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The Rutenberg Power Station, Ashqelon (1991)

During the first 25 years of the State of Israel, the demand for electricity increased rapidly as a result of the waves of Jewish immigration, the development of industry and agriculture, the expansion of commercial activities and the gradual rise in the standard of living.

New fuel oil-fired power stations were constructed with an installed capacity of hundreds of megawatts each, to meet the growing demand.

The Yom Kippur War (1973) and the enusing oil boycott aggravated the necessity to diversify energy sources for electric power generation, to decrease dependence on imported fuel oil, and to exploit local capabilities of planning and manufacture of the necessary equipment. The Israel Electric Corporation's initiative to use coal was put into effect in the 1,400MW first coal-fired power station, Ma'or David, in Hadera. 65% of the station's design and planning, and 17% of the installed equipment were Israeli.

The coal-fired Rutenberg power station - named after Pinchas Rutenberg, the founder and the first Managing Director of the lEO and his brother Abraham, who continued his work - consists of two 550MW units - the largest, so far, in Israel. Its design is 100% Israeli; 22% of the equipment was made in Israel and Israel construction companies, employing hundreds of workers have provided jobs for over 6 years.

A new extra-high voltage (400KV) transmission system was designed, to complement the increase of power generating capacity. This line, planned to transmit energy from the power station to the centres of electricity demand all over the country, will enable the lEG to satisfy the ever-growing dependence of all sectors of Israel's economy on the availability and reliability of electricity.

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Electricity in Eretz Israel 1921 - 1991