Aconsortium of several banks from China has provided 1.58 billion U.S. dollars and 15-year debt facility to support an oil shale power plant in Jordan, which will be the largest private sector project in the country.
The debt facility has been lead arranged by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Exim Bank of China, according to a statement from the Attarat Power Company (APCO) for the financial close of the project. APCO said in the statement that work will start soon on the 554 megawatts project, which will be located at the Attarat um Ghudran oil shale deposit, about 100 km southeast of the capital Amman.
The power station, with an investment valued 2.1 billion dollars, is scheduled to start operation in mid-2020. The project is the first to commercially utilize Jordan's abundant oil shale reserves and will significantly reduce the country's reliance on imported oil and gas.
The two-unit power station will be the first oil shale fired power station and mine project in the world funded by limited recourse project financing. It is expected to meet 10-15 percent of Jordan's annual power demand.
"The project will promote the strategic partnership between Jordan and China, and finally sets a model for the similar projects in the future," Jordan's minister of energy and mineral resources, Ibrahim Saif, said on the financial close ceremony. The power station and oil shale mine are expected to employ approximately 5,500 people during construction and 1,000 during operations.