Progress for Jordan's nuclear projects

5 November 2015


Korea Export-Import Bank (EximBank) is to invest $12.8m in the construction of a nuclear research reactor in Jordan.

EximBank said it has signed a deal with Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Imad Najib Fakhoury, to provide additional funding as the reactor requires extra features to meet heightened international safety standards. EximBank invested $70m in the project in 2010.

The investment follows President Park Geun-hye's visit to Jordan, where she agreed to provide additional finances for the 5MWt Jordan Research and Training Reactor being built by a consortium of Daewoo E&C and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute under a 2009 contract. The reactor, at Ar Ramtha 70km north of the Amman, is scheduled to be completed by June 2016.

In October, Sergey Kiriyenko, director general of Russian state corporation Rosatom, which is building Jordan's first nuclear power plant, said Russia and Jordan must complete joint work on the framework of the agreement on the pre-investment phase of the construction project before
the end of 2016. After this, a concrete decision will be taken on the participation of the investors in the project.

Kiriyenko said that the selected area for the future station had an adequate water supply for future NPPs. "We are implementing a two-year programme to prepare the feasibility study and the entire infrastructure ," he said. By the end of 2016 a business plan will be in place, based on which interested investors will decide on participation.

Russia won the tender to build Jordan's first nuclear plant in 2013. In September 2014 Rusatom Overseas signed an agreement with the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC). Russia and Jordan in March 2015 signed an intergovernmental cooperation agreement which established the legal framework for construction of the NPP. JAEC head Khaled Touqan led a delegation to Russia in mid-October to visit Russian NPPs and nuclear equipment companies.

Earlier, Touqan had said China was interested in investing in the plant. Jordan and China reached an agreement in principle for financing of not less than 50% of the construction project. Trilateral negotiations with participation of Chinese organizations and financial institutions are continuing. These include a consortium of banks led Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC).

Discussions included the possibility of Chinese companies becoming as shareholders and equipment suppliers, Touqan said, adding that he expected "an integrated technical and financial proposal" from the Chinese partners. However, he stressed that the "nuclear island" equipment would be supplied by the principal contractor, Russian Atomstroyexport. The supplies of Chinese companies may supply components of the turbine island, electrical equipment, he added. As to the potential participation of China in the share capital of the future plant, Touqan assumed that shares might be: Jordan - 35%, Russia - 35%, China - 30%.



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