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Officials see ‘bright future’ for power generation in 5 years

By Omar Obeidat - Jun 15,2015 - Last updated at Jun 15,2015

AMMAN – Jordan is set to see a brighter energy future by 2020, officials said Monday. 

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif said that in five years the equation for generating electricity, which currently relies heavily on fuel, will be completely different due to the use of a diversified mix of energy resources. 

Describing the energy sector as the biggest challenge for Jordan as the energy bill represents around 20 per cent of the gross domestic product, Ensour said the government is working to achieve two goals: cutting the cost of energy and boosting the security of supplies.

At a meeting with chief editors and senior journalists, the prime minister said importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) that started late last month, when a ship laden with Qatari gas arrived in Aqaba Port, will cut the cost of the Kingdom's energy bill by at least $500 million. 

Ensour said the steamship –– rented for 10 years –– has a storage capacity of up to 500 million cubic metres (mcm) of LNG, adding the government has a five-year deal with oil giant Shell to provide the Kingdom with 250mcm of LNG per day for power generation.

By 2020, he said, 70 per cent of Jordan’s electricity will be produced through natural gas, 15 per cent by renewable energy, 12 per cent by oil shale and 2 per cent by fuel. 

On the oil pipeline with Iraq, planned to extend from Iraq’s Basra to Aqaba, Ensour said that Baghdad is committed to implementing the multi-billion project, noting that Iraqi authorities are in the process of selecting a company out of two to carry out the scheme. 

If trouble continues in the neighbouring country, he said, alternative routes for the project will be considered. 

Saif told the gathering that the government is also working on liberalising the domestic oil market by allowing them to import directly and sell to consumers, adding that the government role will only be to regulate the market.  

 

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