Russia and Jordan have signed a $10 billion deal to build the latter’s first nuclear power plant. The facility, which will be constructed in the country’s north, will have two 1,000-megawatt reactors, according to reports.
The deal, which was signed with Russia's state-owned Rosatom company in the Jordanian capital Amman on Tuesday, is widely considered part of Jordan’s efforts to attain sufficiency in the energy sector and cut imports, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Jordan reportedly lacks any local energy sources and imports 96 percent of its electricity.
“As you know, we lost the oil from Iraq, natural gas from Egypt, and the country has been bleeding and losing on an average $3bn every year,” AP quoted Khalid Toukan, head of the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission, as saying. “Nuclear power is definitely one of the solutions to graduate from total dependency on oil and gas.”
According to Agence France-Presse, Moscow will finance 49 percent of the cost to build the nuclear power plant, which is due to be completed in 2023.
As part of the deal, Jordan is required to purchase fuel from Rosatom for the reactors for 10 years, after which it can approach other suppliers. There are also speculations that the facility could be fueled with uranium mined in Jordan, according to the AP.
Meanwhile, Sergei Kiriyenko, Rosatom's director, said the company will follow “post-Fukushima lessons,” along with Russia’s years of experience with nuclear energy, to build the plant, which will be among 20 such facilities the company is constructing worldwide, the AP reported.
Rosatom reportedly recently signed an agreement with Hungary to build two 1,200-megawatt nuclear reactors in the Hungarian town of Paks, which currently operates four Russian-built nuclear reactors that produce about 1,889 megawatts of electrical power, or half of the country's energy needs.