Volume 15, issue 11, November 2013

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Economic News



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French 500,000-euro grant to develop energy efficiency

Petra | May 29, 2013 | 22:50


AMMAN — The Ministry of Planning on Wednesday signed a grant agreement with the French Development Agency, which seeks to support the country’s plan on energy efficiency.

The grant, valued at half-a-million euro, will help provide technical support for Jordan to implement energy efficiency procedures.

The agency has provided support for the Kingdom in various development areas such as water, energy and small- and medium-sized enterprises.


Kabariti, Rushoud hold talks with senior executives from Pacific Rim Energy

Captacion (Oportunidades)


by JT | Jun 02, 2013 | 23:11 Updated: Jun 02, 2013 | 23:13

AMMAN –– Venezuela’s Pacific Rim Energy is interested in establishing a $200 million solar power plant in Jordan with generation capacity of 80 to 100 megawatts, the Jordan Investment Board (JIB) said Sunday.

In a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, the JIB said a delegation from Caracas-based company held separate meetings with Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Malek Kabariti and JIB Acting Chief Executive Officer Awni Rushoud and expressed the firm’s interest in carrying out the scheme in the southern governorate of Maan.

The delegation is headed by Pacific Rim Energy General Manager Pedro Krugran, who was accompanied by technical affairs director Jose Julian and the company’s representative in Jordan Fidel Othman, the statement said.

Rushoud told the delegates that JIB is keen to facilitate licensing and registration for companies that carry out added value projects in the Kingdom, noting that JIB is also ready to provide the firm with feasibility studies and all technical information it may need as Jordan is working to diversify its energy resources to cut down import costs.

Late April, JIB and Pacific Rim Energy signed a memorandum of understanding that aims at facilitating the company’s investments in the country.



‘Marsa Zayed project to go ahead as planned’



AMMAN –– Abu Dhabi-based developers of the $10 billion Marsa Zayed project in Aqaba on Monday expressed anger over “baseless” accusations by some media outlets but pledged to go ahead with its implementation as planned.

Al Maabar International Investments, one of the largest real estate and investment firms in the UAE, held a press conference in Amman in order to provide the media with “all facts and to remove intentional and non-intentional fallacies surrounding the project”.

Several owners of news websites attended the press conference, as they were the targeted audience of Al Maabar’s message.

Emad Keilani, the company’s CEO in Jordan, said the project, which is the largest in the Arab world, will create around 17,000 jobs and its direct and indirect revenues to the state budget would reach JD200 million per year when it is completed.

According to Keilani, Marsa Zayed will also be capable of receiving cruise ships carrying over 250,000 tourists a year.

“While such projects carried out by Al Maabar in other countries are admired and valued by Arab and foreign officials, it is unfortunate that the Marsa Zayed project continues to be discredited through smear campaigns against its objectives to serve Jordan’s economy,” he said at the conference.

As some media outlets circulated “dangerous” accusations against the project by citing baseless information, Keilani added, it is time to settle the controversy regarding the agreement between the government and the company so the venture can be implemented smoothly.

The CEO referred to a recent programme about Marsa Zayed aired on a private satellite channel where untrue information was discussed.

He countered the programme’s claim that the agreement was signed when there was no Lower House, pointing out that it was signed on March 26, 2008 during the term of the 15th Parliament.

Keilani noted that the programme presenter described the $500 million (around JD350 million) price of the 3,200 dunums of land as a joke, claiming it was JD1,000 per dunum.

By doing simple calculations, he said, the presenter could have found that the price per dunum was $156,000 (around JD110,000) in addition to 3 per cent of the overall returns of the project.

Keilani also talked about other accusations, such as the company was exempted from fees and taxes, in addition to claims that the firm can sell the project to any party in the future.

Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner Kamel Mahadin described some of the accusations against the UAE-based company as planned, threatening to sue those who try to hurt the reputation of the firm and government agencies.

He called on journalists, particularly those working for the online media, to verify the truth before publishing any information.

Minister of Industry and Trade Hatem Halawani, who also attended the press conference, noted that attracting and supporting investments is the way to stimulate the economy and create jobs for Jordanians.


Fact summary about Marsa Zayed Project:

  • Largest mixed-use project in Jordan
  • Located in Aqaba, it is the largest mixed-use mega-development project in Jordan.
  • The 3.2-kilometre site stretches over half the downtown area and includes 2km of prime waterfront. It covers an area of 3.2 million sq.m.
  • It includes: high-rise residential towers, several branded hotels and retail, recreational, entertainment, business and financial districts.
  • Several marinas will add to the current berthing capacity in addition to a state-of-the-art cruise ship terminal, which will transform Aqaba into a premier yachting destination.
  • Expected completion date of phase one is 2015.

Source: Al Maabar International Investments


Amer's Porto Dead Sea project to complete by 2019


[6/17/2013 4:29:22 PM]

The Egyptian developer of a $250m project planned along the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan has said that it will be up and running by 2009.

Salah Amer, chairman of Amer Investment Group said that its project could increase the number of visitors to the area by around 250,000 a year, while also creating thousands of Jobs for Jordanians, according to state news agency Petra.

The firm held a meeting with Jordan Development Zones Commission's acting investment and infrastructure commissioner, Khaled Abu Rabeeh, at which it praised the Jordanian governnment's pledge to provide the necessary facilities for the site and to remove any barriers to construction.

He added that the company would abide by Jordan's renewable energy and fuel efficiency rules as well as setting up desalination plants and other equipment to make the most of natural resources.

The site will contain a five-star hotel, 3,000 new apartments and villas, a mall, restaurants, cafes, a health resort and sports facilities, including swimming baths.

Abu Rabeeh added that the Development Zones Commission would continue to work with Amer Group to ensure the project can start on site as soon as possible.


Enefit Jordan authorised to proceed with Jordan’s oil shale fired power plant






by JT | Jun 18, 2013 | 23:10 Updated: Jun 18, 2013 | 23:10

AMMAN — Enefit Jordan announced in a press statement on Tuesday that it has received approval from the Ministry of Environment to proceed with its oil shale fired power plant in the Kingdom.

“The approval was given following a review by a committee appointed by the ministry of a detailed third party Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted by Enefit,” the press release said, noting that the EIA was conducted by an independent international consultant and covers the entire lifetime of the project from “cradle to grave”.

It added that in accordance with environmental standards and regulations of the EU, World Bank and the IFC, the EIA provided a comprehensive review of the impact of the project on all environmental and social factors including water usage, soil, air, socio-economic impacts in addition to the eventual completion of operations and remediation of the project area.

Andres Anijalg, project director for Enefit Jordan, stated in the press release: “We are now one step closer to making this project a reality and leveraging Jordan’s abundant oil shale resources to overcome the energy challenges the Kingdom is facing. The approval of the EIA is a major milestone and confirms that this project, the advanced technology involved and the various environmental protection measures that we have put in place will ensure there will be minimal impact to the local environment and the local community.”

Anijalg added: “A proper EIA requires a lot of time and effort and we have worked on this for 2 years. The first step was to establish a baseline analysis of the project area with regards to environmental, cultural and socio-economic aspects. Another important factor was monitoring of the weather in the area which is conducted over an entire year with the data collected and carefully analysed. The EIA has confirmed that the project area is close to optimal.”

Due to the advances in oil shale technology in recent years, the environmental impact has been significantly reduced. In accordance with EU environmental regulations, Enefit’s project in Jordan will use circulating fluidised bed technology, ensuring minimum environmental impact. Furthermore, in order to minimise water usage, the plant will be an air-cooled plant reducing the need for water.

According to the press release, the power plant is scheduled to start generating electricity for local consumption by 2017. It will have a capacity of approximately 500MW and is expected to reduce the Kingdom’s expenditure on the import of oil products for power generation by more than JD350 million a year. The project will also create thousands of jobs and provide a wide range of economic benefits for the Kingdom.

Enefit Jordan is owned by Enefit (Eesti Energia AS), YTL Power International Berhad of Malaysia and Near East Investments Limited of Jordan. 



Private hospitals investment stand at JD2 billion


[7/10/2013 5:01:30 PM]

AMMAN (Petra) – President of Private Hospitals’ Association Fawzi Hammouri said the private sector's investments in the hospital sector in Jordan stand at JD2 billion.

He said in a press statement that Jordan was one of the leading countries in terms of investments in the private health sector compared to its population, noting that 65 percent of the hospitals in the Kingdom were run privately with investments standing at JD2 billion.

"These hospitals employ more than 35,000 people directly and more than 60,000 indirectly, Hammouri added, crediting such achievement to the attractive investment climate and facilities offered by the Jordan Investment Board to the investors.

He said that Jordan ranked first in the region in terms of medical tourism as 250,000 patients visited the Kingdom for treatment in 2012, accompanied by 400,000 attendants.





Minister: UAE-Chinese consortium offers tentative price for oil shale-generated electricity


[7/10/2013 11:28:27 PM]

AMMAN (Petra) - Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Malik Kabariti on Wednesday said that a UAE-Chinese oil shale investment consortium has offered the government with a tentative price for electricity for a 2017 oil shale power generation project.

The minister did not reveal the price but two weeks ago, the consortium said after a meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour that it offered the government a price of 9.47 cents or 7 piasters for a kilowatt. The kilowatt costs now 16.8 piasters but it is sold for 8.6 piasters.

The government is currently negotiating with the consortium on issues related to a power generation agreement from the 600-900 megawatts plant that will be established in the southern region of Lajjon by 2017, the minister said in a statement released today.

No less than $2.5 billion which may reach $5 billion in the future will be invested in the project.

He pointed out that construction of the project will start in November and will start feeding the national grid within 30 months of its start.


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