by Mohammad Ghazal | Dec 28, 2014

AMMAN — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has endorsed a draft agreement to build Jordan’s first nuclear power plant, according to the Russian government.

The Russian-Jordanian intergovernmental agreement entails cooperation in the construction and maintenance of a nuclear plant in Jordan between Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation and Jordan.

“The investments for the project are to be attracted on the Russian and Jordanian markets and the markets of third countries,” said a statement posted recently on the Russian government’s website.

“The implementation of the agreement will stimulate the development of Russia’s energy industry and provide the domestic nuclear energy sector with long-term export orders,” it said.

In January 2011, Jordan announced a tender for the construction of the first nuclear power plant on its territory “on a turn-key basis”.

“Upon the completion of a tender, Russia’s JSC Atomstroy export was declared the ‘preferable bidder’ for the construction,” the statement said.

The nuclear power plant will consist of two power units 1,000 megawatts (MW) each. The first power unit is scheduled to be launched in 2024, while the second will be ready by 2026 in accordance with the plant’s construction schedule.

Last year, the government said it reached a deal with Rosatom under which the Russian company has agreed to take on 49 per cent of the plants’ $10 billion construction and operation costs on a build-own-operate basis, with the government shouldering the remaining 51 per cent and retaining a majority share in the plants.

Jordan has become the third Arab state to pursue peaceful nuclear energy, with the United Arab Emirates set to build four reactors with a combined 5,600-megawatt capacity by 2020 and Egypt reaffirming in 2013 its plans to establish a 1,000MW reactor by the end of the decade.