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King inaugurates solar energy projects.

Monday, May 15, 2017

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 power.

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.