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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 20.09.2019, 19:54

Eesti Energia signs oil shale concession agreement with Jordan

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 12.05.2010.Print version
Estonian state-owned energy giant Eesti Energia, operating under the Enefit brand internationally, signed a concession agreement on Monday with the Jordanian government, giving the company the right to use part of the Attarat Um Ghudran oil shale deposit in Jordan for oil and power production.

Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip who was present at the signing, commented: “Estonian energy security is currently based on oil shale. The Estonian government supports Jordan’s move towards energy security by establishing its own oil shale industry.”


The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Jordan, Mr Samir Rifai emphasized: “Jordan currently imports 96 percent of its energy, being one of the few countries in the Middle East which has no energy resources, except for oil shale. However Jordan’s oil shale could easily cover its energy needs, both for power and for oil. Therefore oil shale will form the basis of our energy independence.”


Enefit’s CEO Sandor Liive commented on reaching the concession agreement by saying: “This concession agreement is an acknowledgement of our oil shale processing technology. This is Enefit’s first international oil shale project. We consider it both an honour and our duty to do our best in establishing an efficient and environmentally friendly oil shale industry in Jordan.”


Enefit will now conduct additional geological and hydrogeological studies as well as testing and designing the oil shale processing technology and a comprehensive environmental impact assessment. After 4 years at the latest, the decision will be made whether to continue with the industrial stage and start the construction of the industrial complex. The length of the industrial stage, or the length of time the resource can be used by Enefit, is 40 years, with the option of extending it for another 10 years.


The Attarat Um Ghudran oil shale deposit lies in Central Jordan and it is the largest of the known Jordanian oil shale deposits. The total amount of oil shale in the deposit is an estimated 25 billion tons. Enefit’s concession area is ca 40 km2 in size and is estimated to contain over 2 billion tons of oil shale. Under certain conditions, the area can be expanded, in which case the total resource under the concession would be ca 4 billion tons of oil shale.


Enefit has two parallel development projects in Jordan – an up to 900 MW oil shale fired power plant and a ca 38 000 bbl/day shale oil plant. Enefit’s role is to be the project developer as well as the technology provider for the shale oil plant. Both in the development stage as well as the following industrial stage, additional investors are planned to be included into the project. The power and oil industries will both be established on the same oil shale deposit.


Enefit is the largest oil shale to energy company in the world and has almost 90 years of oil shale experience in Estonia. Enefit’s shale oil processing technology, currently operational in Estonia, is the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly. It is also a proven technology that creates additional value by using the excess heat and co-produced retort gas for power production. A new plant operating on this technology is currently being constructed in Estonia.

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