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    15-May-2017

King inaugurates JD400m solar energy projects

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday inaugurated several solar energy projects, which include 12 photovoltaic power stations set to generate 200 megawatts of electricity at a cost of more than JD400 million, according to a Royal Court statement. 
 
The initial phase of the projects will include building the first solar thermal collector, which will extend on a 5-square kilometres plot in Maan Development Area and will incorporate 10 plants with a generation capacity of 170MW. 
 
The 11th plant will be housed in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, with an electricity generation capacity of 10MW.
 
The 12th plant will be implemented in Hosha area in Mafraq Governorate, at a capacity of 20MW. 
 
Established under an investment volume of around JD350 million, the first solar thermal collector was deemed the “largest at a regional level to be operated at a commercial level”, providing more than 150 jobs, according to the statement. 
 
The inauguration ceremony, organised by EDAMA Association for Energy, Water and Environment, a business association working on solutions for energy independence and environmental conservation, was attended by Prime Minister Hani Mulki. 
 
During the event, His Majesty was briefed by EDAMA’s president and members of the board of directors on the renewable energy sector and the association’s role in boosting its competitiveness, the statement said, adding that the King was also briefed by the projects’ developers on implementation and the technology used to generate electricity using solar power. 
 
King Abdullah said he looks forward to visiting Maan soon to inaugurate new development projects that provide jobs for the youth and reflect positively on the citizens’ living conditions. 
 
The King also visited the mobile unit of the Renewable Energy Institute of Excellence, where he was briefed by its Director Yaseen Al Husban on the training programmes offered by the institution, which, he said, aims at preparing the youth to obtain jobs in the field of renewable energy. 
 
His Majesty took to his personal Twitter account to express his happiness in inaugurating the vital projects in Maan, noting that the projects assert Jordan’s role as a leading regional hub in the energy sector and show that the south of the country has resources and potentials that must be fully tapped. 
 
The first round of the projects was completed by local and foreign companies with funding from local and international investment and funding institutions, including the International Finance Corporation affiliated with the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Proparco, which is affiliated with the French Development Agency, in addition to funding from Japan and the US. 
 
Around 3,000 Jordanians have been hired so far by these projects during the foundation, the statement noted. 
 
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Royal Court Chief Fayez Tarawneh, King’s Office Director Jafar Hassan, Royal Court Secretary General Yousef Issawi, senior officials and representatives of funding institutions. 
 
In an interview with the Jordan News Agency, Petra, EDAMA’s Board of Directors President Dureid Mahasneh said that the launch of the first round of projects will contribute to increasing the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix to around 8 per cent at present and to 10 per cent over the next two years. 
 

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