AMMAN (Petra) — Prime Minister Faisal Fayez on Saturday attended the formal signing of an agreement by a consortium of US and Turkish companies to expand Al Samra Power Plant, which is expected to generate 20 per cent of Jordan's electric power needs.
The 173 million agreement was signed by the general managers of the US Black and Veatch Company and the Turkish GAMA Company, along with the state-run Central Electricity Company's (CEC) Director General Abdul Fattah Ensour.
The government had earlier entrusted the CEC with the task of preparing technical specifications and floating a tender for the project, and created Al Samra Electric Power Company to implement the project.
The expansion agreement stipulates that the consortium will install three turbines, water desalination units and water and diesel storage facilities at the site located four kilometres northeast of Al Hussein Thermal Power Station.
The fully-automated plant, which will be operated by natural gas supplied by Egypt, is expected to generate 302 megawatts, according to Ensour who pointed out that the plant will help meet the Kingdom's increasing electricity demand estimated at six per cent annually.
The power generated by the two-stage project to be completed in July 2005 and in the third quarter of 2006 respectively, will be linked to the national electric grid.
Ensour explained that 70 per cent of the cost will be in the form of a loan from the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. The remainder will be covered by the CEC's own resources.
According to Ensour, the CEC, which came into being in 1999, has been developing and expanding its electricity power to meet the country's needs, adding that the new agreement is expected to reduce the country's energy bill by replacing diesel oil with less costly Egyptian gas.