By Mohammad Ghazal – May 19,2016

AMMAN — Jordan on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with the GCC Interconnection Authority to join the Gulf countries’ power grid through Saudi Arabia.

Stressing the importance of the agreement, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ibrahim Saif said at the signing ceremony that the deal is very important for the Kingdom in light of the increase in electricity prices, which is a challenge to Jordan and its ability to attract investments.

He added that the interconnection between the Arab states is a key factor in reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of the grid, stressing that the connection to the GCC grid will bring several economic benefits to Jordan.

In previous remarks to The Jordan Times, the minister said the project is estimated to cost JD170 million to JD200 million.

Matar Al Neyad, chairman of the GCC Interconnection Authority, said the deal signed on Thursday supports the vision for creating a common Arab market for electricity.

Abdel Fattah Daradkeh, director general of the National Electric Power Company, said the project is vital for Jordan.

“It will help Jordan use power from the GCC grid when needed,” said Daradkeh.

Demand for electricity in Jordan rises by about 6.5 per cent annually and the Kingdom imports about 97 per cent of its energy needs annually.
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