by Mohammad Ghazal | Jul 24, 2014

AMMAN — Jordan on Thursday awarded a contract to Spanish engineering firm Elecnor to build a 65-75 megawatt wind power plant in the southern region.

The $112 million power plant — which will be located in Maan, some 220km south of Amman — is expected to be operational by the end of 2015, Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed said after signing the agreement.

“This is a very important agreement for Jordan and will form the basis of the second wind power energy project in Jordan,” said the minister.

The project is financed by a grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, he noted, adding that the project will be owned by the government and is located on specially allocated public land in the vicinity of Al Hussein Bin Talal University in Maan.

The selection of the contractor was made through an international competitive tender process that started at the beginning of 2013.

After a detailed technical and commercial evaluation of the tenders, Elecnor was ranked first, Hamed said.

The project includes the installation of 33 wind turbines with a rated power of 2 megawatts each from the Spanish company Gamesa. It is expected to produce more than 150 megawatt hours of clean electricity per year.

“By the end of 2015, renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 500 megawatts will be connected to the grid,” said the minister.

The project is expected to create around 200 jobs during its construction and a further 20 jobs during operation.

Wind speeds in Jordan are as high as 7.5 metres per second and up to 11.5 metres per second in hilly areas.

Also Thursday, the Energy Ministry signed an agreement with the Aqaba Development Corporation, which is one of the owners of the Aqaba Port Marine Services Company, to provide services for vessels laden with liquefied natural gas that will supply gas to a floating regasification storage unit, which in turn will supply gas to the terminal, which is under construction in Aqaba.

The terminal is expected to be ready by early 2015.