Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

Jordan awards Siemens subsidiary contract for 80MW wind station

The resource-strapped kingdom is incorporating more renewables to grid as it looks to slash its energy import bill in line with IMF-mandated reforms

Jordan, which imports over 95 per cent of its energy needs is looking to diversify its grid by incorporating solar and wind into its mix. EPA
Jordan, which imports over 95 per cent of its energy needs is looking to diversify its grid by incorporating solar and wind into its mix. EPA

A subsidiary of Siemens signed an agreement with a Jordanian state-backed power company to operate an 80-megawatt wind station, as the kingdom continues to diversify its energy mix.

Siemens Gamesa, a Spanish-headquartered engineering firm signed a 10-year power supply agreement with Al Samra Power Company to operate and maintain the plant, the kingdom's official Petra news agency reported on Sunday. The power plant is located in the Ma’an wind farm, a $148 million (Dh543m) scheme funded by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

Jordan, which imports over 94 per cent of its energy needs is looking to diversify its grid by incorporating solar and wind into its mix. Around 285MW of wind and 771MW of wind and solar power capacity was integrated into its grid last year.

The kingdom has ambitions of raising its renewable capacity to 2.7 gigawatts by 2021.

Al Samra Power Company operates 1.24GW power capacity, or the equivalent of 40 per cent of electricity consumed in Jordan.

There is a rise in wind power activity across the Middle East, where even oil-exporting countries, such as Saudi Arabia, which lies to the south of Jordan, are looking to ramp up capacity as part of efforts to free up more crude for the export markets.

Saudi Arabia is developing its first wind power scheme – a 300MW project – in the northwestern Al Jouf region, which borders Jordan. Riyadh expects to account for almost half of the region’s wind capacity additions by 2028.

Jordan, which is implementing a three-year programme required by the International Monetary Fund to overhaul its public debt, which reached a record 94 per cent of its gross domestic product, needs to slash its energy import bill to structure its finances.

The kingdom also wants to start its much-delayed oil shale programme to achieve energy independence. Oil shale, not to be confused with shale oil, is formed of organic fine-grained sedimentary rock, from which oil can be extracted through heating.

Jordan is looking to start oil production from these deposits as soon as 2022, its energy and mineral resources minister told The National earlier this year.

Jordan has also looked at building a nuclear reactor as part of the country's energy mix.

Updated: November 25, 2019 11:44 AM

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