Jordon Goes An Extra Mile To Help West Bank Develop Self Reliance
Jordan– A new substation is being established near the Dead Sea which will help Jordon raise its electricity exports to the West Bank. The increase comes to 80 MW after this new facility comes into play. This has also been done to help West Bank become more self-reliant and less dependent on Israel to meet its power needs.
Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh inaugurated the $4.1 million ($4.8m) substation in Al Ramah, north of the Dead Sea. This now means, that Jordon will be able to export some 80 megawatts worth of electricity to the Palestinian Authority that is equivalent to 8 per cent of West Bank demand, said Thafer Melhem, head of the Palestinian Energy Authority.
He said he hoped for Jordanian exports to expand to meet one-fifth of Palestinian demand, without giving a timetable. “We are concentrating on diversifying our sources of energy,” Mr. Melhem said.
He said the electricity grid in the West Bank was connected with Jordan and Egypt and that the Palestinian Authority was also hoping to start producing its own electricity.
Jordan has excess electricity production but has struggled to find export markets despite talks over the past year with Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon.
In January, the kingdom signed a deal, supported by the US, to export 250 megawatts to Lebanon through regime-held areas of Syria. The exports were supposed to flow by April, but there have been none because Lebanon did not secure World Bank funds to pay for the electricity.
Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have sought to expand ties under interim peace accords signed with Israel in the 1990s, but accuse Israel of creating obstructions, a charge Israel denies. They now continue to support West Bank.