Makhteshim Ramat Hovav, of Makhteshim Agan Group, is Switching to Natural Gas

First Plant in the Industrial Zone to Operate on Natural Gas; The Transition to Natural gas Will Reduce the Group's Carbon Footprint and Energy Costs

Mar 28, 2011, 09:18 ET from Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd

TEL AVIV, Israel, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Makhteshim Agan Group (TA: MATA) (, a world leader in generic solutions for plant protection, announces the transition to the use of natural gas at its Makhteshim plant in Ramat Hovav, after more than four years of preparing the infrastructure and constructing a gas-operated system. The system will be fully assimilated within a few months, after which the use of fuel oil and diesel oil will be reduced significantly.

The system was set up in the Makhteshim Ramat Hovav plant over the past six months, and all requisite approvals were obtained prior to signing the agreement with Israel Natural Gas Routes. The natural gas will substitute for the oils used until now for the steam boilers and other systems used to generate chemical processes.

Total investment in infrastructures and the natural gas system at the Makhteshim plant is approximately NIS 30 million, and is expected to reduce the company's energy costs.

The transition to the use of natural gas is another stage in the assimilation of Makhteshim Agan's environmental policy to minimize the environmental impact of its operations. The transition at the Makhteshim Ramat Hovav plant will reduce the Group's footprint from carbon dioxide emissions, and will further improve the air quality in Ramat Hovav.

Chen Lichtenstein, VP Global Resources at Makhteshim Agan: "The transition to the use of natural gas in the Makhteshim Ramat Hovav plant is part of a clear policy to improve the performance of our production plants while safeguarding the environment. The connection to natural gas is a tangible result of the Group's efforts, as well as our compliance with an aggressive timetable for receipt of the permits prior to the connection, are evidence of the excellent technical and engineering abilities of our work teams."

In addition to the natural gas supply contract with EMG, Makhteshim Agan has signed a supply contract with Noble Energy as back-up for the supply of natural gas from Egypt, the objective being to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of gas to the Company's plants.

Makhteshim Agan is currently working energetically to prepare the Agan plant in Ashdod for connection to natural gas, and the Group intends to start construction of two separate power stations that operate on natural gas - one at Makhteshim Ramat Hovav, the other at Agan Ashdod.

About Makhteshim Agan

Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd. is a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of generic agrochemical products.

In 2010, its sales turnover reached USD 2.368 billion and it was ranked seventh in the global agrochemical industry and fourth in Europe, with a global market share of more than 5%. The Company is known for its extensive knowledge and experience, outstanding technological and engineering abilities, expertise in product registration, compliance with stringent environmental protection standards, strict quality control, and global marketing and distribution channels. The Company is well positioned to leverage its size by sourcing, manufacturing, developing and registering plant protection products.

    Rony Patishi-Chillim
    Head of Global Corporate Communications

SOURCE Makhteshim Agan Industries Ltd