Jordan state power utility Nepco this week signed two Sharia-compliant loan agreements totaling JD334mn ($471mn).  Nepco CEO Amjad al-Rawashdeh says the loans embody the ‘strategic partnership’ between the Jordan Islamic Bank and debt-ridden Nepco.  

But in reality, the deal lays bare Nepco’s troubled finances and the heavy burden the firm places on Jordan’s coffers. Finance Minister Ezzedin Kanakriyah put Nepco’s total contribution to Jordan’s debt at JD5.5bn ($7.8bn) during his visit to Washington earlier this month – or 19% of Jordan’s total debt of JD28.5bn. This is largely down to the country’s practice of heavily subsidizing electricity, most of which is generated through gas imports. MEES estimates Jordan’s total spending on energy in 2018 exceeded $5bn, up from $3.42bn in 2017 (MEES, 30 November 2018). (CONTINUED - 165 WORDS)