Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is inviting international power firms to submit proposals to build a power plant by tapping the country's huge oil shale reserves, industry officials said on Tuesday.
Interested global firms must submit by May 31, 2001, their technical and financial proposals to build the oil shale fired power plant using direct combustion technology on a Build Own and Operate (BOO) basis, they said.
The proposals for constructing the 100-300 megawatt plant at the Sultani area in the south of the kingdom, where known large reserves of oil shale exist, should include the project's detailed layout.
Total shale reserves of oil are officially estimated at about 40,000 million tones. However, the high cost of extraction has prevented any exploitation of these substantial reserves.
Energy officials said the selected firm would be required to arrange the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the power plant that would sell electricity to the partially privatized National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).
Canadian Suncor Energy was granted in September 1999 a 12-month exclusivity period to negotiate a project to develop oil shale reserves in the Lejun area in the south.
Officials say the two sides are still trying to reach an accord to build a $4.2 billion mega project over four phases that is targeted to end by 2012.
The initial three-year phase of the project was earmarked to produce 17,000 barrels a day starting from 2006 at a cost of around $400 million, energy officials said.
Output would then increase to 67,000 barrels per day (bpd) within five years and 210,000 bpd after eight years.
No commercial quantities of oil have been discovered in Jordan despite extensive seismic studies undertaken by foreign oil firms since the early 1980s.
Jordan's crude oil requirements are now being met by Iraq which supplies the Kingdom with all its needs.
( Jordan Times )
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