OREANDA-NEWS. June 4, 2012. Enefit together with its partners, YTL Power International Berhad of Malaysia and Near East Investments of Jordan, reached agreement with the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the National Electric Power Company on the terms of the contracts which will underpin the development of Jordan's first direct burning oil shale fired power plant. The plant is due to come on line at the end of 2016. The plant will have a capacity of approximately 460MW and will be based at the Attarat um Ghudran oil shale deposit approximately 100km south east of Amman.

The Enefit consortium has conducted an extensive exploration programme and developed a mining plan and technical concept for the power plant since having been awarded rights over the mining area in July 2010. Reaching an agreement over the terms of project contract allows the project to proceed to the next stage of running a tender for the main engineering, procurement and construction package, which is now expected to commence within the next month.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, His Excellency Alaa Batayneh commented: „"We highly appreciate the cooperation with the Enefit led consortium. Using oil shale as an energy source will mean a fundamental shift for Jordan on the road to securing its own indigenous energy supply. The new oil shale based power plant will deliver significant economic benefits to Jordan, including reducing the Kingdom's expenditure on the import of oil products for power generation by more than 500 million USD a year."

Jordan has one of the largest oil shale resources in the world but it is as yet undeveloped. Sandor Liive, CEO of Enefit, the Estonian national oil shale company said: "With over 60 years of oil shale generation experience, Enefit has a unique position of leadership from which to assist Jordan achieve a cost effective and fully controllable domestic energy supply. We very much look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Jordanian Government."