JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a welcome sign that unemployed kitchen staff from restaurants and hotels can still find gainful employment, the Noble Energy company which runs the oil rig Leviathan in Israel’s territorial waters has hired 40 chefs and 30 members of kitchen staff who had been dismissed from hotels and restaurants due to coronavirus.
The Israeli workers will replace foreign workers who had been employed by the Texas-based energy company, due to the complicated procedures for importing foreign workers to Israel during the period of coronavirus. The workers will spend two weeks of every month on the rig and two weeks at home and will receive a salary of 15,000 NIS ($4000) for their two weeks of work, which can be supplemented by other work they may find during the weeks they are on shore. However the work is not easy as the kitchen and dining room on the rig are open to workers 24 hours a day, with meat courses served at every meal and large numbers of desserts for workers who have to spend many days away from their homes in harsh conditions.
The Israeli kitchen staff had to undergo a complex selection process as well as being isolated for 24 hours before they enter the rig and undergoing a series of tests for drugs and corona.
Leviathan – the largest energy project in the history of the State of Israel – first delivered gas to the Israeli domestic market in December 2019 and commenced exports to Egypt and Jordan in January 2020.
Connecting the Leviathan Platform to Israel via pipeline makes it possible for the Israeli energy sector to be based almost exclusively on electricity generated by natural gas – leading to a significant reduction in pollution and improved air quality in Israel. In addition, for the first time in its history, Israel will become a significant energy exporter.