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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Abu Dhabi development fund finances 105MW Jordanian solar plant

The kingdom aims to generate 20 per cent of all power requirements from renewables by 2020

<p>Tanker trucks fill up with crude oil for delivery to Jordan Petroleum Refinery, in Aqaba, Jordan. The kingdom aims to move away from importing its energy needs. Annie Sakkab/Bloomberg</p>
<p>Tanker trucks fill up with crude oil for delivery to Jordan Petroleum Refinery, in Aqaba, Jordan. The kingdom aims to move away from importing its energy needs. Annie Sakkab/Bloomberg</p>

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has contributed Dh550 million towards a 105 megawatt project in southern Jordan, the UAE-Government backed aid agency said on Thursday.

The Quweira solar power plant, inaugurated on Thursday, will generate 227 gigawatt hours of power annually over a period of 20 years, with the capacity to illuminate 50,000 homes, ADFD said.

Energy-scarce Jordan has embarked on an ambitious programme to generate 20 per cent of its power requirements from renewables by early-2020. The kingdom currently imports oil and products to meet around 98 per cent of its energy demand, making it particularly susceptible to volatility in the oil markets. Jordan’s public debt reached 95.3 per cent of GDP at the end of last year, according to the country’s ministry of finance.

The Abu Dhabi fund’s involvement in the Quweira project includes provision of electrical switches, a medium voltage and signal cable system, transformers and all equipment needed connect the plant to the national grid.

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The assistance also covered covers civil construction works, roads and safety systems as well as overall project operation and management, ADFD said.

The scheme forms part of a wider effort by Jordan to find alternative sources of energy to lower its import bill, which reached $3 billion last year.

As part of its pivot away from imported fossil fuels, Jordan has looked at developing Russian-backed nuclear reactors. The Jordanian government has approved a strategy that will see nuclear energy fuelling 30 per cent of the country’s power requirements by 2030. The kingdom, which also sits atop some of the world’s largest reserves of shale oil, awarded 40-year concession rights to a consortium of Amman-based Karak International Oil as well as the Saudi Arabian Corporation for Oil Shale earlier this year to develop the oil-rich sedimentary rock formations, which it hopes will transform the country into a net exporter for crude.

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