By Mohammad Ghazal – Dec 20,2015

AMMAN — Jordan on Sunday signed an agreement to build a $128 million solar-run power plant with a total capacity of 100 megawatts.

The plant, which will be located in Al Qweira in the south of the country, will be owned by the government and financed by a grant from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ibrahim Saif said at a press conference Sunday.

Spain’s TSK and UAE’s Enviromena Power Systems were awarded the contract to build the project.

The scheme responds to goals set in the national energy strategy seeking to increase the contribution of renewable energy resources to the overall energy mix to 10 per cent by 2020, said the minister, noting that the plant will create several jobs for the local community.

Qweira, 50km north of Aqaba, is one of the country’s “poverty pockets” and has been target to public and private development plans over the past years.

“This is a strategic agreement for Jordan and we are on the right track in this field. We will witness the launch of several projects in the field of solar and wind energy in Jordan in 2016 as well,” announced the minister.

According to the minister, renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts will be connected to the grid by the end of 2018.

Sami Khoreibi, CEO of Enviromena Power Systems, told The Jordan Times Sunday construction on the project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016 and be completed and connected to the grid by the end of 2017.

“Jordan is a very strategic hub for renewable energy investments as it enjoys abundance of sunshine and such projects provide electricity at a very low cost, relying on local resources,” Khoreibi added.

The Kingdom sees more than 300 sunny days a year, according to experts, while wind speed in the northern region reaches as high as 7.5 metres per second and 11.5 metres per second in the eastern part of the country.

Jordan imports about 97 per cent of its energy needs annually at about 18 per cent of the gross domestic product.
– See more at: