Worley Parsons awarded Jordanian contract

16 November 2009

An $11.3 million contract will see Worley Parsons guide the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) with pre-construction consultancy services for a nuclear power plant.


The deal was completed by JAEC chairman Khalid Toukan and Worley Parson's senior vice president Djurica Tankosich in Amman yesterday. As a pre-construction contract, its duration and scope of work cover the preparatory phases before the signing of contracts with a reactor vendor, anticipated to be around the end of 2012.


Worley Parsons is to evaluate the nuclear power plant technology most suitable for Jordan. It will also conduct a feasibility study and financial assessment of the project, as well as assist in the tender for the plant vendor. The Australian company will also help in establishing the Jordan electric utility company to own and operate the plant. The utility is to be established under a public-private partnership model, owned by private investors, international donor institutions and the government.


Worley Parsons will also investigate the management of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, long-term nuclear fuel supply, environmental protection issues and nuclear safety.


Tankosich described the signing of the agreement as "a historical milestone in a historical process for the Jordanian people." Toukan commented: "The pre-construction agreement will pave the way for the choice of the best reactor technology to be used by the plant, and for the development of the plant's infrastructure."


He noted that, depending on the financing, JAEC and Worley Parsons will select the technology for two new nuclear reactors to be constructed and developed in parallel. He noted that the commission has narrowed its choice to five reactor designs: AECL's Candu-6, Areva's EPR, Kepco's APR-1400, and two Russian designs.


The contract follows the award by JAEC in September of a $12 million contract to Belgium's Tractebel Engineering, a subsidiary of GdF Suez, to conduct a siting study for the country's first nuclear power plant. Under that arrangement, Tractebel will undertake a two-year survey to assess the proposed site some 25 kilometres south of Aqaba and about 12 kilometres to the east of Jordan's Red Sea coastline. Worley Parsons will give advice and technical support to Tractebel.


Toukan commented: "Both contracts constitute a major turning point towards meeting the technical and technological requirements of this strategic project."


Jordan is poor in terms of both energy and water resources. It currently imports some 95% of its energy requirements. Plans foresee a nuclear power plant for electricity and desalination in operation by 2015, and the country's Committee for Nuclear Strategy has set out a program for nuclear power to provide 30% of electricity by 2030 or 2040, and to provide for exports.


In June, Worley Parsons signed another consultancy services deal towards new nuclear with the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority. The initial phase of the contract will involve site and technology selection studies, followed by work relating to the plant's design, construction management, commissioning and start-up. The company said that it expected the contract to be worth some $160 million over eight years.


Worley Parsons has also been awarded a contract by Armenia's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to provide consulting services for a second nuclear power plant in that country. The company says that it has been involved in the implementation of 18 nuclear power reactors totalling over 13,100 MWe around the world.