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World's largest oil shale power plant in Jordan near completion


May 31, 2021

The Attarat project will generate 3.7bln kWh of electricity, which can meet nearly one-fifth of Jordan's power demand

The first unit of the world's largest oil shale power plant, located at Attarat um Ghudran, Jordan, is now online, the project's Chinese contractor tweeted last week. 

Attarat Power Company (APCO), a joint venture between Malaysia's YTL Power, China's Guangdong Energy, and Estonia's Enefit, is developing the $2.1 billion, 470-megawatt (MW) Independent Power Plant (IPP) project. 

Energy China tweeted that Unit 1 of the 2 x 235 MW oil shale-fired power plant, which also includes an open-cast mine, was synchronised with Jordan’s national grid on 26 May, adding that the entire project has achieved 96 percent completion rate.  

Once fully operational, the Attarat project will generate 3.7 billion kWh of electricity, which can meet nearly one-fifth of Jordan's power demand, the tweet said.  

Guangdong Power Engineering Corporation (GPEC), a subsidiary of Energy China, was awarded a fixed-price turnkey Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract for the project in 2014. 

Energy China said the project uses an advanced oil shale circulating fluidised bed boiler, with more than 70 percent of the equipment fabricated in China,  

The IPP project will supply power to state-owned National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) under a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a competitive tariff and minimum linkage to the global oil price, according to project information posted on APCO's website. The developer consortium would assume fuel and water supply risks.  

The post also said the project is the largest 100 percent Chinese financed private infrastructure project outside China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

In March 2017, Reuters had reported that the project had secured debt financing from a consortium of Chinese banks. 

In the same month, JV partner Enefit said in a statement that the project is the first oil shale-fired power plant and mine in the world financed using limited recourse debt financing, securing $1.6 billion for 15 years, backed by export credit insurance from Sinosure. 

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