By Taylor Luck

AMMAN – The government is set to receive bids for the country’s first wind farm next month, as energy officials attempt to revive the Kingdom’s drive for renewable energy.

According to Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Khaled Toukan, eight shortlisted international firms are to submit bids in July for the planned Fujeij project – a 90-megawatt (MW) wind farm slated for the southern region.

The project, which has faced minor delays since its initial tendering in 2010, would instantly become the largest renewable energy project in the Kingdom.

Jordan has received interest in the project from energy giants including GDF Suez, South Korean Daewoo International and the UAE-based AES, among others.

Energy officials in Amman are facing pressure to meet Jordan’s national energy strategy, under which renewable sources are to account for 10 per cent of the Kingdom’s domestic energy mix by the end of the decade.

Renewable energy currently accounts for less than 1 per cent of the energy mix in Jordan, which relies on energy imports for 96 per cent of its needs.

The country’s second planned wind project, a 40MW plant in Kamsheh, near Jerash, has faced a two-year delay due to a disagreement with the selected firm over electricity tariff pricing.

Environmentalists and renewable energy advocates have bemoaned the lack of progress.