JDECO board chairman Hisham Omari (left) signing the loan-to-pay-debt memorandum of understanding with Arab banks‘ representatives. (WAFA Images)
RAMALLAH, Sunday, December 29, 2019 (WAFA) – The power cut enforced by the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) on hundreds of thousands of Palestinian households and businesses in different cities and villages in the West Bank seem to have ended with several Palestinian and Arab banks agreeing today to give the Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO) a loan to pay its debt to the IEC.
In order for IEC to collect its debt from the Palestinian-owned JDECO, a private shareholding company, it decided more than two months ago to cut power to JDECO‘s power stations thus forcing power cuts to JDECO customers between two to three hours at different days of the month.
However, and on the initiative of Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, JDECO today signed with a consortium of eight Arab banks a memorandum of understanding to give the company a loan of 670 million Israeli shekels ($220 million) to pay off its debt to IEC.
The agreement will contribute to ending the power cut to JDECO’s concession areas that include East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho, will allow its four power stations to run at a rate higher than its capacity for large areas, and reduce the interest rate JDECO used to pay to IEC from 9% to 6% for the local banks.