Jordanian deputies on Thursday handed the Speaker a memorandum urging the government to stop negotiations concerning the privatization of the electricity sector. In their memo, the 64 deputies opposed the government's plan to sell the biggest portion of the sector to a strategic partner.
According to Petra, the memo suggested that in order to help the sector pay its debts the government should allow hiking the price of a kilo watt by five fils. According to the memo, the step could help collect JD 40 million annually.
Jordan took the first step in privatizing the electricity sector in 1999 when the the government-owned National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) was divided into three legally and financially independent operating companies: the Central Electricity Generation Company (CEGCO), the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), and the Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO).
In 2005, negotiations with India’s Reliance Energy led to nothing with the government failing to agree with the Indian side’s valuation of CEGCO. The inability to sell the operations to a strategic investor has reportedly prompted NEPCO to look for alternatives, including opening it up to domestic investors. However, without a major foreign partner there are growing concerns in Jordan about the sector’s capability to satisfy the growing power demand.