Siemens Gamesa signed an agreement with a Jordanian state-backed power company to operate an 80-megawatt wind power plant, as the kingdom continues to diversify its energy mix.
Siemens Gamesa, a Spanish-headquartered engineering firm signed a 10-year power supply agreement with Al Samra Power Company to operate and maintain the wind turbines lant, the kingdom’s official Petra news agency reported on Sunday.
The wind power plant is located in the Ma’an wind farm, a $148 million scheme funded by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Jordan, which imports over 94 per cent of its energy needs is looking to diversify its grid by incorporating solar and wind into its mix.
Around 285 MW of wind energy and 771MW of wind power and solar power capacity was integrated into its grid last year. The kingdom has ambitions of raising its renewable capacity to 2.7 Gigawatts by 2021.
Al Samra Power Company operates 1.24 GW power capacity, or the equivalent of 40 per cent of electricity consumed in Jordan.
The project award comes amid an uptick in wind power activity across the Middle East, where even oil-exporting countries, such as Saudi Arabia, which lies to the south of Jordan, are looking to ramp up capacity as part of efforts to free up more crude for the export markets.
Saudi Arabia is developing its first wind power scheme – a 300 MW project – in the northwestern Al Jouf region, which borders Jordan, with Riyadh expected to account for almost half of the region’s wind energy capacity additions by 2028.
Jordan, which is implementing a three-year IMF programme to overhaul its public debt, which reached a record 94 per cent of its gross domestic product needs to slash its energy import bill to structure its finances.
The kingdom has also looked to kick-start its much-delayed oil shale programme to achieve energy independence. Oil shale, not to be confused with shale oil, is formed of organic fine-grained sedimentary rock, from which oil can be extracted through heating. Jordan is looking to start oil production from these deposits as soon as 2022, its energy and mineral resources minister told The National earlier this year.