Jordan has clinched a deal with China to fund MENA’s first oil shale-fired power plant, a key element of the kingdom’s plan to broaden its power fuel options.Jordan and China last week signed a memorandum of understanding for a total $7bn of funding for projects in the kingdom involving Chinese companies. Two power projects were included in the deal: $1.7bn of funding will be provided for the Attarat Power Company (Apco) oil shale power plant; and a further $1bn of financing for an unspecified 1GW plant.

Apco is a joint venture of Estonia’s Enefit, Malaysia’s YTL Power and Jordan’s Near East Investments, which is building a power plant in the Attarat area, 100km south of Amman. This will be the first in the MENA region to burn oil shale. Fuel for the plant will come from the nearby Attarat umm Ghudrun mine, which holds an estimated 3.5bn tons of oil shale, of which 900mn tons is earmarked for the power plant. (CONTINUED - 824 WORDS)