Minister, industry chamber reps talk projects, programs

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Kharabsheh on Thursday met with representatives of the industrial chambers in Jordan to discuss the sector’s needs in terms of ministry-run projects and programs in an effort to activate channels of communication with partners. During the meeting, Kharabsheh pointed out the many services provided by the ministry to the industrial sector, including designing and launching the third phase of a program to support energy efficiency in the industrial sector last year to serve the sector as the largest employer and supporter of the national economy. He said the program aims to increase the sector’s competitiveness in light of the high production costs, to reduce the energy bill, and to enable it to implement energy rationalization projects and achieve sustainability, noting that an integrated financing program was developed in partnership with several commercial banks and financing windows, under the supervision of the Central Bank of Jordan, and in cooperation with the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC) and the Jordan Chamber of Industry. According to Kharabsheh, 50 percent of the energy audit studies for a plant are sponsored by the ministry’s Renewable Energy Promotion Fund, thus the research is authorized and a loan of JD350,000 is handed to the recipient to implement the project. Accordingly, the factory owner is offered a grant that includes paying all of the interest or Murabaha, as well as the cost of the loan guarantee with the JLGC, so that the factory can obtain financing without any additional burdens on its cash flow, and the beneficiary can pay the bank’s installments in monthly payments that represent the value of the savings achieved from their factory’s electricity bill. During the implementation of the program, the fund will supervise and follow up on the project and provide technical opinion and evaluation of the entire program. This mechanism, he noted, would encourage the industrial sector in Jordan to implement supported energy rationalization projects. Kharabsheh urged industry representatives to take advantage of the time-related tariff system, or what is now known as “time-of-use tariff,” which provides an optional reduction for three segments, including the medium-sized industries sector, and within the mechanism for calculating the electrical tariff based on the time in which energy consumption was done. The system aims to reduce electricity costs in sectors, while the results and impact of the application will be evaluated to allow room for its application in other sectors in the future, he added. Kharabsheh highlighted opportunities for the industrial sector to collaborate with a coalition to develop renewable energy projects in Iraq, noting that Jordanian companies have priority in participating in the construction of renewable energy production stations on the Iraqi side and exchanging experiences. Representatives from industrial chambers discussed the positive outcomes of participation in the program to support energy efficiency in the industrial sector, as well as the challenges that some face in being accepted into the program due to non-compliance with the conditions, pointing out that the time-of-use tariff is not reflected in some industries in the case of full factory operation during peak and off-peak periods. They cited industrial owners’ lack of knowledge about the feasibility of using energy audit studies as the reason for the industrial sector’s lack of interest in the energy efficiency support program, calling for more simplicity in the procedures for obtaining loans from the financing agencies approved in the program.

Source: Jordan News Agency