Jordanian projects back on track after PPA breakdown

JORDAN: Jordan's first commercial wind power project may be back on track after the government resumed negotiations with the preferred bidder, a Greek-Jordanian consortium led by Athens-based Terna Energy.

The 30-40MW Al Kamshah plant was due online this year, but negotiations stalled over the electricity purchase price. Then the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said it was reconsidering the whole project because of concerns over noise levels and problems over land regulations. There was even talk that it would be scrapped altogether, or moved to a different site. Now, however, it seems the two sides are talking again.

In a separate move, in early July, the ministry issued a request for proposals for the right to build, own and operate a 70-90MW facility near Al Fujeij, south of Amman. The closing date is December 19. A total of 16 candidates made it through prequalification, including AES Corporation of the US and Fersa of Spain. The state-owned National Electric Power Company will buy the output under a 20-year purchase agreement. Completion is slated for 2011.

Earlier, the ministry called for expressions of interest by July 15 for consulting services to help establish the Jordan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund. The fund will provide technical and financial support to overcome investment barriers, and channel financial support from international donors and the Jordanian government into renewable energy projects.

The ministry has also announced the result of the prequalification round for three other consultancy contracts. Nexant of America, Germany's Fichtner and CMS Cameron McKenna of the UK have all qualified for the tender to advise the government on the creation of renewable energy frameworks.

Kema International of Holland and Spain's International Technical Assistance Consultants qualified for the tender to estimate indicative process for different forms of renewable energy, and Kema and CESI of Italy to advise on integrating wind power into the national grid. The final selection is expected in the next couple of months.

Jordan has a mere 1.45MW of wind power operating in two pilot projects. By 2020, however, its national energy strategy calls on renewables to meet 10% of the country's energy needs - about 1GW of wind power.

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