Israeli army switching to alternative fuel
|JERUSALEM, June 26 (UPI) -- In the wake of rising oil prices,
the Israel Defense Force is in the process of converting its bases to liquid
petroleum gas, and eventually to natural gas.
The army is one of Israel's largest consumers of fuel.
|The first base to make the switch is the Israel Air Force
base at Uvda, northwest of the southern city of Eilat. The base recently
completed its conversion at a cost of $268,000, according to a report in
Israeli business magazine TheMarker.
"This is the first stage in a process, costing about $8.9 million for the conversion of all IDF bases to LPG compatibility," Lt. Col. Avi Harel of the logistics department said via the report.
"This process is part of the army's environmental-awareness project," Harel said.
LPG can, in some cases, reduce exhaust pollution emissions by 90 percent. It is a byproduct of the oil refining process, and is most commonly used for cooking and heating.
"(The conversion at Uvda) will save about $447,000 a year, so we will be able to recoup the investment in the conversion in just 8 months," Harel told the magazine.
Furthermore, he said, LPG boasts a 95 percent efficiency rate, far more efficient than the previous 75 percent rate at Uvda, Harel said.
All bases were supposed to be converted by 2012, but due to "budgetary and ecological considerations," the deadline was pushed forward to mid-2007, Harel told the magazine.
The IDF also plans to connect the highest-consumption bases to the natural gas pipeline now under construction in the country, according to the report.
About 90 percent of the fuel the IDF currently consumes is imported from the United States, the magazine said.
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