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Aqaba LNG port has capacity to meet Egypt needs — minister

By JT - Jun 06,2015 - Last updated at Jun 06,2015

AMMAN — The liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Aqaba marks a qualitative leap in the energy sector as it will cover the Kingdom's electricity-generation needs, Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif said Saturday.

The terminal, which went operational late last month, may have a surplus that can be conveyed to Egypt, which also suffers gas shortages, as agreed upon at the recent Amman meetings of the Joint Jordanian-Egyptian Higher Committee, the minister said, as quoted by the Jordan News Agency, Petra. 

Regarding the cost, Saif said LNG imported via the new terminal is "without question cheaper than using heavy fuel and diesel", especially due to the continuous international increases in oil prices, let alone that gas is cleaner and more efficient. 

He also added that there is a possibility to expand reliance on exported natural gas for industrial purposes and for supplying hospitals, hotels and houses when the necessary infrastructure is established.

The gas terminal in Aqaba was designed to import both LNG and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) for household usages, the minister noted.

On his expectations for the energy sector, Saif said that the sector's efficiency has recently increased, while the costs of renewable energy have declined. 

Consequently, there is an urgent need to complete the "green corridor" to expand the power grid's capacity to take in the electricity produced from renewable energy sources, the minister added.

In this regard, he said the ministry has secured a soft loan of around 100 million euros, and a tender will be floated before the end of this year to enhance the grid’s capacity in the southern regions, which enjoy good potential for producing solar and wind energy.

On the oil pipeline with Iraq, the minister noted that Jordanian technical committees have been meeting with concerned Iraqi officials on the issue.

 

Saif added that the pipeline is a strategic interest for Jordan and Iraq, noting that the project’s technical studies have been completed and both countries are currently studying alternative routes for the project near the Saudi border, due to the security risks inherent in original route, which was drawn to extend from Basra in Iraq to Aqaba Port. 

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