In another exciting development in the Jordanian renewables market, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (the “Ministry”) has entered into an agreement through which it will begin purchasing electricity generated from solar energy in the Kingdom.
On Monday 17 March 2014, the Ministry signed a power purchase agreement with the Shams Maan Company, through which it agreed to purchase electricity generated within the Maan Development Area (“MDA”) with a capacity of 50 megawatts. The MDA, which is believed to be the largest project of its kind in the region, will have an investment value of approximately USD 160 million and is expected to eventually generate 160 gigawatts of electrical energy, once it is operational, sometime in 2015.
As well as strengthening the renewables sector locally and re-emphasising the Government of Jordan’s (“GoJ”) commitment to renewable energy internationally, this development is expected to bring with it a variety of economic and social benefits including the provision of over 500 job opportunities, in a country where unemployment rates are amongst the highest in the Middle East.
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Mohammad Hamed, in commenting on this recent development, has stated that the GoJ will be entering into similar power purchase agreements within the coming weeks. Mr. Hamed also reiterated the importance of investment opportunities within the renewables sector in this part of Jordan and in particular emphasised the investment value of the MAD, which it is estimated will be approximately USD 500 million over the next twenty years, during which the Maan project will be operational.