Jordan, Russia sign project development agreement

23 September 2014

Russia expects that within two years it will receive a contract to construct Jordan's first nuclear power plant following the signing of a project development agreement.

The agreement was signed in Vienna on 22 September by Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) chairman Khalid Toukan and the CEO of Rusatom Overseas - Rosatom's subsidiary concerned with exports of nuclear power plants - Dzhomart Aliev. It sets the obligations of the parties for the first stage of the construction of a two-unit nuclear power plant in Jordan's Zarqa province with a total capacity of 2000 MWe.

"We also are ready to participate as an investor, not only as an engineering company."

Sergey Kiriyenko
CEO of Rosatom

"The project phase that has now started will result in a contract for nuclear power plant construction that is planned to be signed in 1.5-2 years," according to Rusatom Overseas.

Toukan said, "The agreement provides for design of the water cooling system, feasibility study, oversight of the site evaluation process and an environmental impact assessment. These activities have to be completed in the period of 24 up to 30 months and they are fully paid for by the Jordanian government." He noted, "Rusatom Overseas can participate in other studies as well, but these four [activities] can be carried out by Russian specialists only, because they possess the technology."

Rosatom CEO Sergey Kiriyenko commented, "I consider it a great achievement that the Russian and Jordanian specialists have together found a very good site to build the nuclear power plant, which features low seismic impact and good geology." Without specifying how, he added, "The government of Jordan has managed to find a solution for the plant water supply. We have done an analysis and can confirm that this is absolutely a feasible solution to water supply."

Kiriyenko added, "The government of Jordan has made a sound and up-to-date decision on financing the plant by having made the plant open for investors, including from other countries. We also are ready to participate as an investor, not only as an engineering company."

In October 2013, following an international tender, JAEC announced that Rosatom's reactor export subsidiary AtomStroyExport would be the supplier of two AES-92 model VVER-1000 nuclear units, while Rusatom Overseas will be strategic partner and operator of the plant. Russia will contribute 49.9% of the project's $10 billion cost, with the Jordanian government possibly putting up the remaining 50.1%.

Jordan, which relies on imports to meet some 90% of its energy needs, aims to have the first unit in operation by 2021 and a second one by 2025. In addition to providing electricity, the plant will also be used for desalinating water.

Russia and Jordan signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy in May 2009. The agreement included cooperation in the design and construction of commercial nuclear power plants and research reactors, as well as water desalination plants. It also covers the development of uranium deposits and nuclear fuel cycle facilities, although under the agreement, Russia would supply Jordan with nuclear fuel, which would be returned to Russia once used.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News