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Jordanian cabinet OKs $2.4B oil shale project with Enefit; largest in region and world

Jordan’s Council of Ministers on Sunday endorsed all agreements prepared by the national electricity company with Estonian company Enefit which will carry out a mega oil shale energy project in the Kingdom.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Mohammad Hamed briefed the cabinet on the project to produce electricity through direct burning of oil shale. The ministers were updated on the progress of work while the Mining and Energy Regulatory Commission gave the go-ahead for signing the deal with the Estonian firm and start the $2.4-billion project, which will be the largest oil shale venture in the region and the world.

The Estonian firm has agreed on all technical details of the 470-megawatt project at a tariff of 95 fils (JD0.095; there are 1,000 fils in a Jordanian dinar. This equates to about US$0.13) per kilowatt-hour for a period of 26.5 years. The current cost of generating power in the Kingdom is JD0.17 (US$0.24) per kWh.

An article in the January 2014 issue of IEA Energy: The Journal of the International Energy Agency reported that Estonia, which has the most developed oil shale industry in the world, is collaborating in pursuing wider use of oil shale in a cleaner, more sustainable manner. (Earlier post.)

Earlier this year, the government of Jordan and the Saudi Arabian Corporation for Oil Shale (SACOS) signed a $2-billion agreement under which the government granted the Saudi company the right to extract and to develop oil shale resources in the Attarat Um-Al-Ghudran region. (Earlier post.)

Jordan has reserves of 40-80 billion tonnes of oil shale in 21 locations near the Yarmouk River, Buweida, Beit Ras, Rweished, Karak, Madaba and Maan districts. (Earlier post.)



Oil extraction may be a good project but generating electricity with oïl is as bad as with coal. GHG created will be unacceptable.

At $0.13/kWh, a large solar plant with storage (in a sunny place like Jordan) could do it for less without GHG.


Israel has large offshore natural gas to export to Jordanianshale operations. This will largely substitute for water and greatly alleviate the GHG situation.

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