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‘Jordan to increase focus on energy sector’

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 19,2015 - Last updated at May 19,2015

AMMAN — Jordan will increase its focus on the energy sector during the upcoming period as demand on electricity is expected to grow between 5.5-6.5 per cent during the next decade, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said on Tuesday.

In an address he delivered at the Jordan International Energy Summit, the premier stressed that the energy challenge is one of the main issues facing the Kingdom, and making affordable energy solutions available is crucial to support industries, trade and investments, and realise sustainable growth.

Jordan’s reliance on energy imports, especially gas and heavy fuel, is a major challenge that the government is working to resolve, he said, adding that the energy sector is on the top of its priorities.

Jordan, which imports some 97 per cent of its energy annually at about 18 per cent of the gross domestic product, is expected to witness continued economic growth and improvement in living standards, which will drive demand on energy and electricity, Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif said at the opening of the two-day summit, attended by experts in the field from different countries.

“We believe Jordan is on the right track to reduce energy imports… through the use of renewable energy, oil shale and others,” he said.

The minister added that more public and private partnerships in the field is key to creating a sustainable energy future.

Summit participants looked into challenges and opportunities in the energy sector, including oil shale extraction and exploration of gas and oil. 

The Kingdom’s projected nuclear power plants are also scheduled for discussion during the event.

Hisham Khatib, honorary vice chairman of the World Energy Council, said there are no easy solutions for the energy sector in Jordan.

The national energy strategy seeks to boost domestic energy resources from the current 2 per cent to 40 per cent by 2020, depending on oil shale and renewable energy resources.

The Kingdom is also working on a plan to create a nuclear power plant with two reactors that are expected to be operational in 2022.

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