|26 October, 2017

Jordan's Water Ministry to cut energy use by half by 2019

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation is scheduled to reduce its energy use, which constitutes 14% of the country’s total energy consumption, by half in early 2019

Image used for illustrative purpose. A Syrian man sits on a portable tank as he fills a container with water in Zaatari refugee camp near the border with Syria, in Mafraq, Jordan October 14, 2016.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A Syrian man sits on a portable tank as he fills a container with water in Zaatari refugee camp near the border with Syria, in Mafraq, Jordan October 14, 2016.

REUTERS/Ammar Awad

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation is scheduled to reduce its energy use, which constitutes 14 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption, by half in early 2019, according to officials.

The goal of cutting down 50 million kilowatt hours per year is expected to be attained within 15 months, according to ministry’s officials, who noted that it will be achieved after a multi-million-dollar project to rehabilitate the country’s main pumping stations and a number of well fields is completed.

Under the 10-million-dollar project, pumps and electric equipment at the stations will be replaced with energy-efficient systems.

In a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Al Nasser said that energy-efficient systems will be installed to reduce 7 per cent of Water Authority of Jordan’s (WAJ) electricity use, thus saving JD5 million annually under the current electricity tariff.

“The project’s consultant is now preparing the studies and blueprints to rehabilitate the pumping stations in the capital, the northern governorates, Zarqa, Balqa, Karak and Tafileh,” Al Naser said.

The project is funded by a loan from the German Development Bank (KfW), an official at the ministry said on Wednesday, indicating that it comes as part of a broader programme to raise energy efficiency in the water sector.

“The wider programme that targets all water treatment plants, pumping stations and wells is worth 32 million euros. A 26million-euro loan from the KfW is funding the programme, in addition to 6 million euros from WAJ,” the official told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The initiative is among several projects to expand the water sector’s shift to renewable energy and improve its energy efficiency.

In 2015, the ministry announced its Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Policy for the Jordanian Water Sector. The policy seeks to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in energy consumption of billed water by the year 2025, corresponding to a 0.46 kilogramme reduction of carbon dioxide emissions for the production of each billed cubic metre of water.

According to the 2013 Annual Report of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, power requirements in 2013 for water pumping alone amounted to about 14 per cent of the country’s total power production, with a total amount of 1,424 gigawatt hours.

Given that the water sector is highly subsidised, the Water Ministry’s total energy bill paid in 2013 amounted to JD100 million, according to the policy.

Assuming that current operational patterns are sustained, real power costs for water pumping are estimated to amount to JD640 million by the year 2025, the policy said.

© Jordan Times 2017

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