AMMAN — Prime Minister Hani Mulki on Thursday inaugurated the Qweirah solar energy station, the biggest photovoltaic energy station nationwide, with a capacity of 103 megawatts and a cost of $120 million financed by a grant from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).
Mulki and Adel Hosani, director of the operations department in the government-owned ADFD, toured the station's facilities and listened to a briefing on the Aqaba station, whose production of electricity is sufficient to provide 51,000 residential units with their electricity needs, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
At the inauguration ceremony, Energy Minister Saleh Kharabsheh said that the energy sector used to be "a burden" for the national economy, noting that the government prepared a comprehensive strategy for the sector which included lowering the energy bill through relying on local energy resources.
Kharabsheh noted that this is one of many schemes that generate some 700 megawatts and contribute to around 8 per cent of the total energy needs, adding that contracted projects that will be operational by 2020 will generate some 2,000 megawatts, constituting 20 per cent of the Kingdom's needs in 2020.
Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh expressed hope that the project will meet the zone's growing electricity needs, especially as ASEZA will start establishing three industrial estates in early 2019.
Hosani said that the ADFD has implemented 31 projects in Jordan over the past years, contributing to the Kingdom's sustainable development. He added that the Qweirah project highlights the "advanced level of partnership" between the fund and the government.
The contractor supervising the scheme presented a briefing on the station which is established on a 3,000-dunum plot of land and was constructed by a consortium of an Emirati and a Spanish company.
Construction started in August, 2016 with the participation of 85 per cent of local contractors, and 15 per cent of international ones.
The Qweirah station was connected to the national grid through a central station especially built by the National Electric Power Company for this project, according to Petra.
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