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PM, Palestinian counterpart inaugurate Ramah Power Transmission Plant

Ramon airport will not affect transport ties with Jordan — Ishtayeh

By JT - Aug 24,2022 - Last updated at Aug 24,2022

Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh and his Palestinian counterpart Mohammad Ishtayeh during the inauguration of Al Ramah Power Transmission Plant in the Jordan Valley on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh and his Palestinian counterpart Mohammad Ishtayeh on Wednesday inaugurated Al Ramah Power Transmission Plant in the Jordan Valley, which will increase the electricity supply to Palestinians from 40 MW to 80 MW.

During the ceremony, a memorial plaque was unveiled and both prime ministers toured the plant that would enhance the electricity supply to Jericho, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Al Bireh, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Khasawneh and Ishtayeh held a meeting over means of enhancing political, economic, and commercial cooperation, as well as transport and transit through the King Hussein Bridge.  

The premier expressed appreciation for the staff from the Jordanian and Palestinian sides, who managed to complete the project in record time, in a single year,  and increased the Palestinian electricity supply from 40 MW to 80 MW.

This project shows the Kingdom's "central commitment" to building the foundation of a viable Palestinian independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the pre-1967 borders, within the framework of the two-state solution that the Jordanian leadership sees as the sole solution for the region's suffering, Khasawneh said.

Jordan is committed to supporting the Palestinians to achieve a just and comprehensive regional peace, in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions and the established peace terms of reference that were previously approved by the Palestinian and the Israeli sides, he said.

Khasawneh also briefed the Palestinian prime minister on the government's plans to upgrade and expand the King Hussein Bridge, noting that several initial offers have been made by a number of coalitions to develop the crossing.

The expansion, which establishes the separation of the passenger route from the cargo route, could be completed by 2025 to facilitate the passengers' movement and promote trade exchange in both directions, he added.

Talks also covered enhancing Jordanian exports to the Palestinian market, as well as easing measures for Palestinians to travel to the Kingdom and to other countries, he said.

Khasawneh reiterated the Kingdom’s stance in support of the Palestinian cause, stressing that Jordan, through the Hashemite Custodianship over Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites, defends attmepts to alter the legal and historical status quo at Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif   

Highlighting the importance of the project in helping Palestine gradually shed occupation imposed-dependence, Ishtayeh expressed appreciation for His Majesty King Abdullah’s directives to strengthen the trade balance between Jordan and Palestine, from $200 million annually to $500 million, noting that the volume could be raised to some $1 billion per year.

He also expressed appreciation for Jordan’s efforts to ease Palestinians’ movement through King Hussein Bridge, notably by extending work hours, upgrading infrastructure at the Jordan River and creating new routes for goods and passengers.

“Neither Ramon airport nor any other airport is an alternative to our depth of relations with Jordan in terms of transport and movement,” he said, stressing that if the Israeli side is attempting to ease measures for Palestinians, they should open Jerusalem International Airport to Palestinians. 

All projects that could negatively affect Jordanian interests will find no Palestinian partners, he stressed, noting that “all issues hindering trade movement originate from the Israeli side with various pretexts”.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Al Kharabsheh highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to be a regional hub for electricity interconnection, noting that the newly launched project is regarded as a base for enhancing interconnection with neighbouring countries. 

Despite accomplishing many achievements regarding existing electricity interconnection projects, “we still have a lot to do to complete these projects and upgrade power grids, as we are currently working with Egypt to enhance the power grid”, he said.

Jordan is currently working to establish an interconnected power grid with Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Kharabsheh said, voicing hopes that these projects will be completed by the end of 2025.

The Kingdom, with its “huge potential” for generating renewable energy, is qualified to be a hub for green hydrogen production and export,  Kharabsheh said. The natural gas pipelines spread from the south to the north of the Kingdom can be utilised for export purposes, the minister added. 

National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) Director Amjad Rawashdeh said that the Ramah Power Plant project is an extension of the partnership between NEPCO, the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority (PENRA) and the Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO), which began in 2008, during which Jordan supplied Palestinians with electricity and provided training for Palestinian staff.

Enhancing interconnected systems is “no longer an option or a luxury, but has become a necessity”, he said, stressing that the Kingdom is moving forward with the implementation of electricity interconnection projects, including supplying Iraq with electricity, the Jordanian-Saudi interconnection project, and the Jordanian-Egyptian-Gulf interconnection project, as these projects will serve as regional hub for energy-exchange  in the Arab region.

Chairman of PENRA Zafer Milhem said that the Rama plant will supply Jericho, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Al Bireh with part of their electricity needs, and will help in diversifying energy sources, which will offer additional quantities of high quality electricity at reasonable prices, further stressing that this would achieve energy security for the Palestinian consumer.

 

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