Sept. 29--AMMAN -- The National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) said Wednesday that the deal with US Noble Energy to import natural gas is one of the Kingdom's several options to import gas in the future.
Noble Energy is a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan gas field, located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel.
"Signing the deal is in line with the government's policy to diversify energy resources and increase the competitiveness of the major national industries," an official at the state-owned company said in a statement to The Jordan Times.
NEPCO said the deal will help save Jordan around $600 million per year.
The company said Jordan cannot rely on renewable energy only for generating electricity to meet rising demand.
According to official figures, demand on electricity in Jordan rises by 6-7 per cent annually.
The Kingdom needs natural gas to meet demand on electricity, the official said.
The deal will enable Jordan to import 300 million cubic feet of gas per day, which represents 40 per cent of the Kingdom's electricity-generating needs.
Jordan will still import liquefied natural gas from international markets at the same time, the official said.
Jordan is in talks with Algeria to import natural gas as part of its strategy, and in the future, it plans to import from Egypt to cover the remaining needs.
Jordan will continue to import liquefied natural gas through the terminal in Aqaba to diversify resources and reduce the burden on the energy sector, said the official, who was not identified in the statement.
"Diversifying natural gas resources will not only reflect on industries but also on consumers, which ensures stability of prices," the official said.
The deal with Noble Energy is flexible and allows the company to import the volume that it sees needed, he explained.
If Noble Energy fails to deliver shipments on time, then it has to supply the quantities later 25-30 per cent cheaper than the agreed upon price.
Activists and professional associations in the Kingdom have expressed anger and concern over the gas deal with Israel.
A so-called Jordanian National Campaign Against the Gas Agreement with the Zionist Entity has announced that it would stage a protest after Friday prayers in downtown Amman, calling for the cancellation of the deal.
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