A $485m combined-cycle plant is to replace an aging oil-fired power station in Jordan.

The gas-fired plant is being developed by ACWA Power and has secured backing from the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, both part of the World Bank Group.

The IFC is investing up to $75m and mobilizing $200m of debt, while MIGA is providing a guarantee for 20 years, covering up to $215.6m in commercial debt. 

The plant will be located in the Zarqa Industrial Zone and is being built at a cost of about $485m.

“This will be a climate-friendly addition to Jordan’s power supply, with the use of combined cycle gas turbine technology helping to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly compared to the plant it replaces,” said Rajit Nanda, ACWA Power’s chief investment officer. 

The Zarqa plant is expected to generate a gross average of 3200 GW/hrs of electricity per year, serving approximately 620,000 individual residential customers and adding about 150 MW to the national grid.

The IFC’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, Mouayed Makhlouf, said: “IFC is a long-term partner for Jordan. We invested in the power generation sector in 2011 to, among other things, modernize older power plants using existing infrastructure, where possible. We are excited to see our long-term goal fulfilled, as the Zarqa plant will use the same site as the Hussein thermal power station, benefiting from existing infrastructure and a prime location near Amman and Zarqa.”

Sarvesh Suri, director of operations at MIGA, said that “the demand for power in Jordan is rising rapidly and among the best ways to meet this demand is modernizing Jordan’s power generation infrastructure.” 

The IFC says its priority in Jordan is to help the government “restore the energy sector’s sustainability, and diversify the energy mix away from oil-based generation towards renewable and clean energy”.