Eesti Energia to sell stake in Jordan oil shale project
The state-owned energy company Eesti Energia (EE) announced that it is selling a substantial part of its stake in the Jordan power plant project.
Eesti Energia acquired majority stake in Jordan Oil Shale Energy Co (JOSE) in 2006 with an aim to build a shale oil plant in the Kingdom of Jordan.
Jordan is one of the few countries in the Middle East without oil, but at 80 billion tonnes, it has some of the largest oil shale deposits in the world, many times more than Estonia.
Estonia, on the other hand, has one of the most efficient oil shale industries, owning the two largest oil shale fired power stations in the world. The country is also the second largest oil shale producer in the world after China. About 85 percent of Estonia's total electricity production comes from the oil shale industry.
EE is developing a 70 square kilometer area in Attarat Um Ghudran, 110 kilometers from the Jordan capital Amman and known to have the largest deposits. The concession area contains an estimated 3.5 billion tonnes of oil shale and the tied contract with the Jordanian government is signed for 30 years.
EE has previously said that the reason for sale is due to limited funds, which restrain the firm to invest enough in foreign projects. Instead, the company is re-focusing on the domestic development and making the Estonian oil shale industry more environmentally friendly.
Eesti Energia's partners in Jordan are YTL Power International Berhad and Near East Investment, which own 30 and 5 percent respectively in the joint company.