Country Listing

Jordan Table of Contents


Electricity Generation

Between 1980 and 1985, per capita consumption of electricity doubled from 500 kilowatt hours per year to 1,000 kilowatt hours per year. The demand increase reflected the doubling in the number of households supplied with electricity as rural villages were electrified. By 1985 about 400,000 households, or 97 percent of the population, had access to electricity. Electricity generation increased 23 percent in 1986 and 18 percent in 1987 to total 712 megawatts or 3.2 billion kilowatt hours. After rural electrification was completed, growth in capacity outpaced growth in consumption, which was limited by conservation measures to about 3 percent to 4 percent per year. Roughly 40 percent of the electric power generated was used by industry, 30 percent was used by private citizens, 13 percent was used by commercial businesses, and the remainder was used by water pumping stations. The Hussein Thermal Power Station at Az Zarqa historically had produced more than 70 percent of the country's electricity, but at the end of 1987, the opening of the Al Aqabah Thermal Power Station added 260 megawatts, boosting Jordan's generating capacity to 972 megawatts and ensuring self-sufficiency into the early 1990s. A 400-kilovolt transmission line connected Al Aqabah and Amman. The Al Aqabah plant was to be expanded to a total capacity of 520 megawatts by the mid-1990s, and was planned eventually to supply 1,540 megawatts.

Although Jordan depended entirely on imported oil to fire its generating plants in 1988, the government planned to reduce this dependency. The 1988 discovery of natural gas at Rishah, near the Iraqi border, led to feasibility studies of retrofitting the Az Zarqa plant with gas turbine generators. A 20-megawatt hydroelectric station was to be included as part of the planned Al Wahdah Dam on the Yarmuk River. Discoveries of shale oil in the southern Wadi as Sultani region kindled hopes of a 100-megawatt shale-fired electric plant in that area. In 1989 Jordan also was prospecting for underground geothermal sources.

Data as of December 1989