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Five months on, Egyptian gas supply cut continues — Hamed

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jun 30,2014 - Last updated at Jun 30,2014

AMMAN — Natural gas imports from Egypt, which have been completely halted for over five months, are not expected to resume anytime soon, Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed said Monday.

“We do not expect the resumption of the gas supply to Jordan soon. I was in a meeting in Cairo early June and discussions covered the need for resuming gas supplies as soon as possible,” the minister said in a phone interview.

The last time Jordan received natural gas from Egypt was in January when it stood at around 35 million cubic feet per day, a quantity which falls short of the 220 million cubic feet per day stipulated under a 14-year gas agreement signed between the two countries in 2002, according to Hamed.

The gas pipeline in Sinai, which supplies Jordan, was bombed several times over the past year, leading to an increasing burden on the Kingdom.

Jordan has been forced to use heavy oil and diesel reserves at a cost of $5 million a day to generate power after the cut in gas supplies from Egypt, Hamed added.

The Kingdom currently imports 98 per cent of its energy needs at a cost of nearly one quarter of its gross domestic product.

The government recently announced plans for several renewable energy projects utilising Jordan’s wind and solar energy as alternatives to more expensive fossil fuels.

The national strategy for energy aims at increasing Jordan’s renewable energy sources to 10 per cent by 2020.

In remarks at Parliament early June, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said renewable energy is “Jordan’s hope”, adding that Jordan seeks to become the second Arab country, after Morocco, in producing power from renewable energy sources.

He said the government has floated tenders to 12 companies to develop renewable grid-connected electricity production projects, adding that these companies will generate around 5 per cent of the Kingdom’s power supply when the projects are completed.

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