Jordan to accelerate electrical connectivity with Saudi Arabia

Hala Zawati. (Twitter)
Updated 28 January 2019
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Jordan to accelerate electrical connectivity with Saudi Arabia

  • Amjad Rawashdeh: “We are talking about connecting our grid with Saudi Arabia, and strengthening our ability to exchange power with our neighbors in a mutually beneficial way”

AMMAN: Jordan will look to increase connectivity with its neighbors in order to improve efficient use of electricity in the region.
Speaking on Jordan Television’s “60 Minutes” program, the minister for energy and mineral resources, Hala Zawati, suggested that increasing Jordanian production of solar power would allow the country to export excess electricity to other countries during daylight hours, only buying fossil fuel-derived power at night, mostly from Saudi Arabia.
Amjad Rawashdeh, the director general of Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), said: “We are talking about connecting our grid with Saudi Arabia, and strengthening our ability to exchange power with our neighbors in a mutually beneficial way.”
Given the nature of solar power, he said, it was possible for Arab countries like Jordan to produce cheaper energy at different times of day, making it sensible to improve connectivity between nations to save money for their consumers.
He added that NEPCO expected it would take some time to achieve, given practical differences between the countries’ grids, but that all parties were “serious” about improving energy connectivity, affordability and efficiency: “We in Jordan welcome this idea. It is a win-win for both sides.
“In Saudi Arabia they work on 60 hertz while we work on 50 hertz. We will need to find a way to overcome this technical difference, but we will. Cooperation with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries is our priority.”
Basel Burgan, an environment and energy commentator in Jordan, believes the plan has merit.
“This is a smart idea. We have many solar projects that are very inexpensive. We can produce electricity using solar power for JOD 0.170 ($0.239) per kilowatt, which is much cheaper than producing it from gas burners that costs JOD 0.50 per kilowatt,” he said.
“Solar is extremely affordable; therefore, it is wise for us to sell it in the day, and buy Saudi electricity when the sun is down.”


Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

Updated 4 min 11 sec ago
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Rocket hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq’s Basra

  • The rocket hit Burjeisa residential and operations headquarters west of Basra
  • Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile

BASRA: A rocket landed at the headquarters for several global major oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, near Iraq’s southern city of Basra early on Wednesday, wounding two Iraqi workers, police said.

The rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of the city, they said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

A security source said Exxon was preparing to evacuate some 20 foreign staff immediately.

Other companies operating at the site include Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Italian Eni SpA, oil officials said.

Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile that landed 100 meters from the section of the site used as a residence and operations center by Exxon.

Burjesia is near the Zubair oilfield operated by Eni.

Exxon evacuated staff last month after the United States cited unspecified threats from Iran for a decision to take hundreds of diplomatic staff out of Iraq.

Exxon had begun returning staff to Iraq, however, before Wednesday’s incident.

(developing)