Maan, (Petra) ––
His Majesty King Abdullah II Sunday inaugurated
commercially-driven 200 megawatt photovoltaic
solar projects, including 12 power plants,
in an investment worth more than JD400 million.
The first stage of the electricity
generation scheme incorporates building
a solar collector on a 5 square-kilometre
plot in the Maan Development Area, which
incorporates ten plants with a generation
capacity of 170 megawatt, while the 11th
plant will be launched at the Aqaba Special
Economic Zone at a capacity of 10 megawatt,
and the twelfth in Housha in the Mafraq
governorate at a capacity of 20 megawatt.
The first solar collector
will be launched at an estimated investment
of JD350 million, the largest commercially
at the regional level, and will create more
than 150 job opportunities.
During the inauguration ceremony,
organised by the Edama Association for energy,
eater and environment in cooperation with
the developing companies, King Abdullah
was briefed about the role of Edama in supporting
the Kingdom's renewable sector and its competitiveness
as well as the stages of implementation
and the technology used to generate solar
His Majesty said at the ceremony,
which was attended by prime Minister Hani
Mulki, that he was looking forward to visiting
Maan Governorate soon to open new development
projects that generate jobs for youth and
positively reflect on the living standards
of the people in the southern region.
The King also visited the
mobile unit of the Renewable Energy Institute
of Excellence and was briefed by its director
Yasin Husban about the training programmes
the facility provides to youth to qualify
them for jobs in the renewable energy sector.
The institute, Husban said,
had provided 500 temporary job opportunities
for trainees and about 115 permanent jobs
at the Maan solar and wind energy facilities.
The mobile unit of the institute,
which was launched in line with best international
practices, offers training for youth in
remote areas, including Quweira, Wadi Araba,
Jafr and Shoubak with the aim of raising
their efficiency and prepare skilled manpower
to meet labour market needs.
The first phase of the solar
energy projects was accomplished by local
and global companies with funding from local
and international institutions, including
the International Finance Corporation of
the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development, the French Development
Agency, Proparco, JPIC firm of Japan and
the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Edama Association board chairman
Dureid Mahasneh told Petra in an interview
that the first set of solar energy projects
would raise the renewable energy share in
the total energy mix by 8 per cent at present
and 10 per cent in the next two years.
He stressed the importance
of such projects in reducing costs on the
national economy and simultaneously to protect
the environment by cutting dioxide emissions.