Jordan to build 315MW wind farms

JORDAN: The government has approved the construction of five wind power plant totalling 315MW.

The five projects have signed PPAs with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO)
The five projects have signed PPAs with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO)

Four of the five projects were submitted in the first call for "direct proposals", launched in 2011, where private-sector investors can submit projects to the government without going through a tender.

The four direct proposal project developments are: 82MW at Al Rajef, in the Ma'an region, south Jordan developed by local firm Green Watts; 45MW at Al Ibrahimiyya, Irbid north Jordan, developed by Hecate Energy of the US; 49.5MW at Tafilah, east Jordan, by Xenel Group of Saudi Arabia; and a 49.5MW project also in Tafilah, developed by the Korea Southern Power Company.

They all bid at the ceiling price of JOD 0.08/kWh ($0.11/kWh).

The fifth project, comprising 89.1MW at Al Fujeij, Ma'an, dates from a tender launched in 2010, and subsequently awarded to Korea Electric Power.

All five plants will be constructed on a build, own and operate basis, with the developers signing a power purchase agreement with national utility NEPCO. While the terms are still under negotiation, the projects are slated for completion by 2019.

At the same time, Elecnor has started constructing a 66MW project at Ma'an, equipped with Gamesa 2MW turbines and due for completion early 2016.

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development recently agreed to fund a 14MW extension to the site at Ma'an. Elecnor will build it and Gamesa is tipped to supply the turbines, though the timing is not yet known.

Last year, four projects that qualified under the second round of direct proposals were cancelled because of insufficient grid capacity. In May, however, China's troubled Hanergy group extended a grant of $310 million to upgrade the country's grid and allow more renewables.

In the meantime, the country's first utility-scale installation, a 117MW plant at Tafilah, is due online this autumn.

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