By Taylor Luck

AMMAN – Despite the instability on the streets in Cairo, the Kingdom’s strategic energy partnership with Egypt has so far been unaffected, according to officials.

Jordan, which relies heavily on natural gas supplies from Egypt for electricity production, is expected to continue receiving the same amount of gas and electricity, according to the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).

“There is no shortage in electricity due to the situation in Egypt and we are receiving the same amounts of natural gas as we have before,” NEPCO Director Ghaleb Maabreh told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.

“We hope and think that it will continue to go as normal,” he said, noting that the Kingdom received an additional 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Egypt yesterday.

Jordan and Egypt exchange electricity as demand requires through a 500MW capacity cable running beneath the Red Sea, which also supplies electricity to Syria and Lebanon.

Currently 60 per cent of the Kingdom’s electricity is produced from natural gas, the bulk of which is imported from Egypt.

The Kingdom suffered electricity cuts last summer when it received below-average natural gas supplies from Egypt, which also suffered high demand during the summer months.

The shortage in natural gas supplies forced the Kingdom to rely on costlier diesel and heavy oil for 80 per cent of the country’s electricity generation.

Under an agreement reached in 2004, Egypt provides the Kingdom with 2.4 billion cubic metres of natural gas at preferential prices, and has been expected to be provided with additional 900 million cubic metres as part of a supplemental agreement.

Jordan imports 96 per cent of its energy at a cost of around 19 per cent of the gross domestic product.