The disruption of natural gas supply from Egypt shows the extent of the Kingdom’s vulnerability regarding energy needs.

The gas pipeline from Al Arish to Aqaba was damaged by an explosion on Saturday, reportedly the act of extremists who intended to damage the Arish-Ashkelon line supplying Israel with natural gas.

Jordan produces 80 per cent of its electricity needs using gas from Egypt. Disruptions like the one Saturday impose a heavy cost on the country, which has to shift to the more expensive diesel and heavy oil fuel to generate electricity.

The problem, however one looks at it, is essentially that Jordan needs to find autonomous ways to produce electricity, avoiding the need to depend heavily on one source that can be easily interrupted, be it because of sabotage or natural causes.

Gas may be cheaper, but alternative sources need to be contemplated in earnest. Wind and solar energy have often been mentioned in this regard, but they still appear to be a distant possibility.

More feasible – and serious steps have already been taken in this direction – is nuclear power.

Jordan has no oil, but it is said to be home to 2 per cent of the world’s uranium reserves. Ongoing explorations indicate that they go even higher. That makes nuclear power the most attractive option for achieving the country’s energy independence.

The JD3 million a day the switch to oil to produce electricity is now costing Jordan is not a small amount. Under no circumstances, let alone in the economic predicament the country finds itself. And it is not a one-off occurrence, but a scenario that could repeat itself.

The government needs to find a amore dependable way to ensure the steady supply of gas to the country, which cannot be left at the mercy of others.

Above all, it has to start working towards achieving electricity self-sufficiency and that, at this point in time, is only possible through use of nuclear power.