(MENAFN- Jordan Times) AMMAN — Prime Minister Hani Mulki on Thursday checked on the progress of a project aimed at producing electricity from oil shale in the Attarat Umm Ghadran region, at a total investment cost of JD 2.2 million, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
During his visit, the premier said that the plan represents a 'milestone' in the Kingdom's development process, stressing that Jordan is blessed with an abundance of natural resources.
He noted that investors began exploiting these resources in the 1950's, through the production of cement, phosphate and potash.
'A new era was launched today,' Mulki stressed, which revolves around the exploitation of oil shale for economic growth and the development of national industries.
He added that the project is expected to begin commercial operation in 2020, providing a 12 per cent increase in Jordan's electricity production capacity.
Mulki voiced the government's keenness to provide an attractive environment for investment, and to meet the needs of investors by ensuring transparency and fighting against any type of corruption.
'We should take pride in this project for which we have waited for a very long time,' he said, adding that 'it will be the first of other oil shale projects by means of direct burning or distillation'.
For his part, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Kharabsheh emphasised the importance of the project in preserving the security of the Kingdom's energy supply.
The minister noted that imports of oil derivatives will be partly reduced through dependence on local resources to produce sustainable and reliable energy that will reach 12 per cent of the total electricity generated in the Kingdom by 2020.
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