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Gov’t announces deal to build $2.4b oil shale-fuelled power plant

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jun 29,2014 - Last updated at Jun 29,2014

AMMAN — The Cabinet on Sunday approved signing an agreement for the building of a $2.4 billion oil shale-fuelled power plant by Enefit, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Mohammad Hamed said.

The plant’s 470-megawatt capacity represents some 15 per cent of Jordan’s current overall electricity capacity of 3,200 megawatts.

The facility will be built by Enefit, which is owned by Enefit (Eesti Energia AS), YTL Power International Berhad and Near East Investments Limited, said the minister during a press conference on Sunday.

The plant, which the minister said is the first of its kind in the region, will be operational in February 2018.

It will be established on a build, own and operate basis, Hamed told reporters.

An agreement between the National Electric Power Company and Enefit will be signed in two weeks under which the power company will agree to buy the electricity generated by the plant, he said.

The prices will range from a minimum of 78 fils per kilowatt hour to a maximum of 99 fils per kilowatt hour, which is less than the cost of each kilowatt hour generated by diesel at present, which stands at 172 fils, he said.

“In addition to buying electricity at low prices, the government will receive JD15 million annually from Enefit in return for using oil shale for powering the plant,” said the minister.

The project will significantly help reduce the National Electric Power Company’s losses that stand at JD1 billion every year, the minister added.

“Electricity generated through oil shale is considered a load base supply, which Jordan can rely on,” he added.

The project is expected to create some 2,000 jobs, he added.

Enefit mandated the Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, supported by China Export & Credit Insurance Corp., to arrange $1.4 billion loan borrowed for the envisaged plant. 

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