Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jordan to Import More Gas From Egypt, Explore Qatar, Algeria

Jordan’s energy minister said the country plans a nearly fourfold increase in natural gas imports from Egypt and will explore purchases from Qatar and Algeria.

Jordan, which imports almost all its energy, is scheduled to sign an agreement in two weeks that will raise gas supplies for power plants to 330 million cubic meters from 240 million cubic meters starting early 2011, Jordanian Energy Minister Khalid Irani said today in an interview.

The countries also agreed to build a pipeline network to bring 500 million cubic meters of Egyptian gas to feed houses and industries in Jordan, Irani said.

Jordan started importing gas from Egypt in 2003, receiving about 300 million cubic feet a day through a link across the Gulf of Aqaba that also feeds Syria and Lebanon.

Egypt’s gas exports dropped by about 30 percent because of technical faults in that country’s installations, Ghaleb Maabreh, the general manager of Jordan’s National Electric Power Co., said June 23.

Jordan’s electricity company reported a loss of 40 million dinars ($56 million) after the Egyptian shortfall forced the company to use heavy fuel oil, which is more expensive than natural gas, he said.

Jordan, whose power use may double in 10 years, is also considering importing gas from Qatar and Algeria, Irani said.

--Editors: Mike Anderson.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nayla Razzouk in Amman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Voss at

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