Israel Electric Corporation buildings in Israel

In collaboration with Architects Einav Shchory & Shira Ben Ezra

Historical Background of the IEC

The construction of the Electric Company complex on Kremnitzky Street was carried out by the Civil Planning Department and the Executive Division of the Israel Electric Company (IEC). The IEC was founded as the Palestine Electric Company on March 29th, 1923 by the Jewish engineer and revolutionary Pinchas Rotenberg (1879-1942). The IEC started with two concessions that Pinchas Rotenberg received from the British Mandate government in 1921, after conducting a survey on the

possibilities of exploiting the country's water sources and formulating a proposal for the construction of 31 hydroelectric power stations based on this survey. The first concession referred to the Jaffa sub-district and on its basis the "Jaffa Electric Company" was founded. Rotenberg undertook to build a hydroelectric power station on the Yarkon, but eventually built a calorie station between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. In 1923, the first power station was opened, supplying electricity to the cities of Jaffa and Tel Aviv. In 1925, the IEC built two more diesel-powered power plants – one in Haifa and the other in Tiberias.

The story of the 'Palestine Electric Company' is interwoven with the story of the Hebrew settlement in modern times and with the vision of the establishment of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel in Hebrew work. However, the concession from the Mandate government that Rotenberg won as a private company obligated the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants and the creation of an "electrified" space for Jews and Arabs alike. In 1932, following the construction of the power stations in Jaffa, Haifa and Tiberias, the "Nahariya" hydroelectric power station was also inaugurated, which was built east of the Jordan River and became the first new power station in the Middle East. During the War of Independence, the Nahariya power plant came under the control of the Kingdom of Jordan and ceased its operations. Its place in the IEC's production line was taken by the new production units set up at the sites of the power stations in Tel Aviv - on the site of the Redding power station which was called Redding B and has two units: The first unit in Redding B started operating in May 1935, with this second one in March 1945. The introduction of the new units led to an easing of the electricity crisis which enabled the company to plan long-term and build new power sites.