(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Oil shale is a local energy source that is among the biggest attractors of foreign investments in the Kingdom, Attarat Power Company (APCO) board member Muhammad Maaytah said on Monday.During a meeting with the head of the Lower House's Energy and Mineral Resources Committee, MP Haytham Ziadin, Maaytah said that the Kingdom will start generating power from oil shale by the middle of next year to contribute to 15 per cent of the total power energy generated in Jordan.
The envisioned scheme is scheduled to reduce the bill of imported energy by $300 million annually, the APCO official said, noting that 470 megawatts (MW) will be transferred to the national grid from the project, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Maaytah stressed that the project is highly environment friendly and can be built inside cities due to its conformity to relevant international standards.
As for the job opportunities expected to be provided, the APCO member said that the scheme, in its construction phases, has provided some 5,000 jobs and will provide 1,500 direct jobs after starting operation.
According to APCO experts, producing 470MW of electricity will require the combustion of 10 million tonnes of oil shale annually.
Jordan is currently estimated to have 70 billion tonnes of oil shale spread across 60 per cent of the Kingdom's total area, constituting the fourth largest oil shale reserve worldwide.
APCO has already begun the process of constructing the oil shale facilities, the experts stated, stressing the significance of the project in providing a local and sustainable source of electricity.
They added that the location of the project has the potential to provide the station with 10 million tonnes of oil shale annually for a period of over 40 years.
Project CEO Jason Pok said that this project is one of the largest oil shale endeavours in terms of funding, stating that it has received $2.2 billion from international, Chinese, Malaysian and Estonian companies.