Jordan’s Ministry of Energy has given initial approval for the construction of a 150,000 b/d refinery and integrated petrochemicals plants in the southern governorate of Ma’an. However, ministry spokesman Mashour Abu Eid told state news agency Petra that the government will not guarantee the supply of raw materials to the complex or the purchase of its products. Neither will the ministry allocate land on which the complex will be built. Yet the refinery “must operate on a commercial basis”, although state marketing companies will continue to import and sell oil derivatives.

The project is intended to export all of its output, giving it some immunity from Jordan’s heavily subsidized products prices. Given the export focus, and need to import feedstock, a location at Aqaba port would seem far more rational. (CONTINUED - 238 WORDS)