Israel Parliament Approves Plan to Split State-Run Power Utility

(Bloomberg) -- Israel’s parliament approved a plan to boost competition in the electricity market, with the aim of reducing the state-owned utility’s grip over the country’s power production.

Israel Electric Corp., which provides some 90 percent of the country’s power, will sell about half its production sites over the next five years and spin off its power systems management division, according to an emailed statement from the Finance Ministry on Thursday. The reorganized company will focus on transmission and distribution of electricity, allowing for fairer competition, it said.

The reform plan passed after the government first took the decision 22 years ago, delayed in part by disputes with Israel Electric’s labor union. The new law requires the utility to cut 25 percent of its workforce, with about 1,800 workers leaving through voluntary retirement, according to the statement.

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