Jordan has approximately 40-80 billion tons of oil shale (about 34 billion barrels of shale oil) that could last for over 900 years at current consumption, said a top official at an Estonian company tapping the Kingdom's reserves of oil shale.
Director of Jordan Project at Enfit, a world oil shale exploration and development company, Andres Anijalg, has recently said during a meeting with a number of Jordanian journalists, that his company will carry out two projects in Jordan; an electricity generation project and oil extraction project from oil shale.
He explained that the company will build two circulating-fluidized-bed (CFB) combustion units with a capacity of 460Megawatts with the possibility of expansion to four units in the future in the company's concession area at Attarat Um Ghudran in the central region.
Indications show that the tariff of electricity that will be generated from the project is substantially lower than at current diesel and HFO based power production, Anijalg said.
He added that this project would consume 10 million tons of oil shale a year.
Speaking of the oil project, the official said his company signed in 2012 a 30-year-long agreement with Jordan to tap the Kingdom's deposits of surface oil shale at a 70-sqaure-kilometer concession area at Attarat Um Ghudran which has a massive reserve of oil shale of 30 billion tons.
He pointed out that the expected oil output of the project is about 38,000 barrels a day. The official said the ventures would offer Jordan with cheaper and stable electricity tariff than alternatives.
He described the investment in Jordanian oil shale as a promising project, and that the quantities in the Kingdom are very encouraging for investment, stressing the importance of the project to help Jordan to meet energy challenges and to increase the contribution of domestic sources of energy in the total energy mix.
The key conditions for the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Implementation Agreement (IA) and the Land Lease Agreement (LLA) have been negotiated with Jordanian government and documents will be signed after the Engineering, Procurement and construction (EPC) tender results, Anijalg said, adding the tariff will be agreed after the EPC tender. The official affirmed that the project meets the World Bank environmental requirements, noting that proposed amendments into the existing Jordanian environmental legislation were presented to the Jordanian government in August this year pending approval.
Speaking of the timetable of the project, Anijalg explained that receiving mine and EPC bids will be in February 2013, EPC contract awarding and tariff agreement with the National Electric Power Company will be in June 2013, and financial close, and the start of construction will be in December 2013. He noted that the project will be operational in 2016.
He said the project will save approximately $280 million of gas or $515 million of oil purchases from abroad and will provide 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.
The project will employ proven technology and advanced stage development and is environmentally compliant with the World Bank standards, Anijalg asserted. Furthermore, no government guarantees or capital or construction risk support are needed.
Estonian officials expect the volume of actual investment in the electricity generation and oil production projects in Jordan at about $ 5 billion.
Enefit is an Estonian government owned company and the largest shale oil energy company worldwide. It specializes in making liquid fuels from oil shale and is engaged in oil shale mining, oil shale based electricity and heat generation, shale oil production, electricity distribution, and sales of electricity.
Jordan News Agency – Petra