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Oil shale power station to generate 15% of Jordan’s electricity needs by next May

Kingdom has 4th largest oil shale reserve worldwide

By JT - May 08,2019 - Last updated at May 08,2019

An under-construction oil shale power station affiliated with the Attarat Power Company is seen in this undated photo (Petra photo)

AMMAN — An oil shale power station affiliated with the Attarat Power Company (APCO) is expected to be connected to the national electricity grid by May of next year at a capacity of 470MW, covering 15 per cent of Jordan’s electricity needs.

According to APCO experts, producing the aforementioned amount of electricity will require the combustion of 10 million tonnes of oil shale annually, the Jordan News Agency, Petra reported. 

Jordan is currently estimated to have 70 billion tonnes of oil shale spread across 60 per cent of the Kingdom’s total area, constituting the fourth largest oil shale reserve worldwide. 

APCO has already begun the process of constructing the oil shale facilities, the experts stated, stressing the significance of the project in providing a local and sustainable source of electricity. 

They added that the location of the project has the potential to provide the station with 10 million tonnes of oil shale annually for a period of over 40 years. 

The project is expected to directly create around 1,000 job opportunities for Jordanians and more than 2,000 jobs indirectly, Bassam Qaqish, an APCO consultant, said, noting that the project is the only one of its kind regionally, and the second to be implemented internationally after Estonia’s of oil-shale electricity production project.   

APCO board member, Mohammad Maaytah, said that turning oil shale into electricity will spare the Treasury various oil-related expenses. 

He shed light on the financial benefits of oil shale as an energy source, noting that the cost of a barrel of traditional oil is around $100, while the production cost of a barrel of oil shale reaches up to $80.

Project CEO Jason Pok said that this project is one of the largest oil shale endeavours in terms of funding, stating that it has received $2.2 billion from international, Chinese, Malaysian and Estonian companies. 

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