The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a US$ 100 million loan to support the construction of a 240 MW peaking power plant 15 km east of Amman, Jordan.

The Al Manakher power plant will be a peaking power facility – gas-fired plants that that generally run only when there is a high demand.

EBRD said the new plant was urgently needed to provide extra capacity to prevent blackouts at times of peak demand, and to secure short-term electricity supplies to Jordan at a time when demand is growing rapidly.

In the medium term it will also help prepare the Jordanian electricity grid for the greater use of renewable energy sources.

The Al Manakher project is being co-funded by a US$ 170 million loan from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The facility will be operated by AES Levant Holding BV Jordan PSC, a special purpose vehicle owned 60% by developer AES Corporation and 40% by Japanese conglomerate Mitsui and Co.

Regional focus

EBRD started supporting projects in Jordan and the wider region in September 2012, and since then has signed loans totalling € 195 million (US$ 257 million) for four projects

By 2015, the EBRD said it expected to be investing up to € 2.5 billion (US$ 3.3 billion) across the southern and eastern Mediterranean region which comprises Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia.

It extended its reach to this area in response to calls for support from the international community and from the countries themselves following political changes in the region. The EBRD was originally set up in 1991 to foster the development of market economies primarily in central and eastern Europe.

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