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‘20% of country’s energy mix to be supplied from renewable sources by 2020’

Four companies studying shale oil extraction, distillation in Jordan

By JT - Dec 11,2018 - Last updated at Dec 11,2018

Wind turbines are seen at the Tafileh Wind Farm, some 180km southwest of Amman, which can power some 80,000 homes (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Renewable energy will contribute more than 20 per cent of the Kingdom’s total energy mix in 2020, Energy Minister Hala Zawati said on Monday.

Solar and wind power generation has risen from 2 per cent to 10 per cent of the country’s generated power since 2014, the minister said during the opening of the fourth Jordanian International Energy Summit, noting that the rate will reach 16 per cent by the end of 2019.

Zawati also expressed hope that the utilisation of waste for generating energy would soon become part of Jordan’s energy mix, a ministry statement said.

The renewable energy plan is part of ongoing work to update the National Energy Strategy 2030, which will be launched during the second half of 2019, the minister said, noting that the strategy is based on four key pillars; energy security, increasing self-reliance, diversifying energy sources and lowering costs.

The two-day event aims at discussing work papers related to the latest developments in Jordan’s energy sector, challenges and investment opportunities, as well as possible solutions to address relevant challenges in the water, transport and infrastructure sectors.

In addition to renewable energy, four companies are currently studying shale oil extraction and distillation for producing oil in the Kingdom, one of which is in the funding phase to produce 25,000 barrels of diesel and gasoline per day, she added.

Zawati welcomed the international companies attending the summit who are interested in investing in six areas in the country to explore oil and gas, according to the statement. 

She also referred to efforts aimed at exploring oil, oil shale and gas in the Kingdom, as well as efforts to increase production rates in the Hamza and Reisheh fields. 

To face energy challenges in Jordan, Zawati added that efforts are under way to attract projects for storing energy, expressing hope that the first scheme would start operation before the end of 2019.

The minister said that plans to exploit the Mujeb, King Talal and Wadi Al Arab dams for energy storage are currently being studied by the ministry. 

Tenders for interest in such projects are expected to be floated in the first half of 2019, she noted.

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