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Jordan, Estonia discuss oil shale exploitation

Feb 27,2014 - Last updated at Feb 27,2014

AMMAN — Estonia is looking forward to sharing its over 100-year experience in utilising oil shale resources to produce energy with Jordan, the country’s finance minister, Jürgen Ligi, said on Thursday.

At a meeting in Amman with Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Ligi said the successful implementation of Jordan’s project to generate electricity from oil shale, in which Estonia is interested in investing, will be of major importance to his country, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

At the end of November 2013, a joint Estonian-Malaysian consortium entered final negotiations to construct the Kingdom’s first oil shale power plant in a bid to utilise oil shale reserves. 

Ligi said the oil shale project will guarantee social and economic benefits to Jordan, highlighting Estonia’s experience in exploiting this resource, Petra reported.

Oil shale, he noted, covers Estonia’s needs of power generation, and the country exports electricity to four neighbouring countries.

Ensour commended Estonia’s interest in investing in Jordan, which enjoys stability and security, in addition to a strategic location that attracts investments from around the globe.

The oil shale project is expected to save the country around $350 million a year and provide more than 3,500 work opportunities while under construction and 1,200 permanent jobs when operational.

Ligi voiced hope that the project agreement would be signed soon.

Jordan is one of the five richest countries in terms of oil shale reserves, with over 40 billion tonnes spread under around 60 per cent of the country’s surface. 

At present, Jordan imports 97 per cent of its energy requirements, while it only produces 3 per cent of its needs through the Risheh Gas Power Station in the eastern region.

Discussions at Thursday’s meeting also covered the Syrian crisis. Ligi voiced his country’s appreciation of the role Jordan plays in hosting Syrian refugees, noting that Estonia is coordinating with the EU to help the Kingdom overcome challenges, according to Petra.

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