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| 24 April, 2018

Construction contractors in Jordan boycott gas deal project

The Jordanian Construction Contractors Association will not compete for any tenders floated by the government to build a gas pipeline to bring gas from Israel into Jordan

Spherical tanks are seen at Jordan Petroleum Refinery in the city of Zarqa, 25 km (15 miles) northeast of Amman April 2, 2013.

Spherical tanks are seen at Jordan Petroleum Refinery in the city of Zarqa, 25 km (15 miles) northeast of Amman April 2, 2013.

REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN — The Jordanian Construction Contractors Association (JCCA) will not compete for any tenders floated by the government to build a gas pipeline to bring gas from Israel into the Kingdom, Ahmad Yacoub, the syndicate’s president, said on Tuesday.

The association, which groups some 3,000 construction contractors firms, sent letters to its members stating its position on the project and demanding them not to participate in any tenders to build the pipeline, he said on Tuesday.

"We consider taking part in building the gas pipeline as betrayal to all those who died defending Palestine…. We will not support or be part of any project that supports the Zionist entity," Yacoub said in a phone interview with The Jordan Times.

The JCCA announced its position after the government officially completed the acquisition of lands in the northern region to lay the pipeline.

"This project is rejected by the public and we warn member firms against taking part in it and we will exert our utmost efforts to stop it because this project support the terrorist Zionist entity...we cannot be part of such a scheme," Yacoub added.

In September 2016, the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) signed a 15-year agreement with Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan Gas Field, to purchase $10 billion worth of natural gas supplies.

The government then said it would import 250-300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from Noble Energy, which is expected to save around JD700 million annually of the country’s energy bill.

In January, the Department of Lands and Survey (DLS) published an advertisement in Al Rai newspaper, announcing that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources had acquired some lands crossing Irbid, Ramtha and Mafraq governorates in the north and northeast where the pipeline is expected to be built. However, it was not mentioned in the advertisement that the lands would be used for this particular project.

Owners of the lands acquired in Irbid filed lawsuits to challenge compensation rates for their properties.

Jordanian National Campaign Against the Gas Agreement with the Zionist Entity and several professionals association and anti-normalisation groups have held dozens of activities in protest of the project, urging the government to abolish the deal with Israel.

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