EBRD promotes energy savings in Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is helping to address Jordan’s acute energy shortage with an investment that will increase the efficiency of energy consumption in the country’s water sector.

A US$ 3 million EBRD loan to local energy service companies (ESCOs) owned by Engicon O&M will finance projects in water and waste water management. Part of this investment will target the modernisation of the Wala and Lib water pumping stations that serve the town of Madaba, south of Amman.

The EBRD loan builds on, and scales up, a successful German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) pilot project with Engicon ESCOs.

The modernisation of the pumping stations will lead to greater energy efficiency, through improved pumping technology, and lower costs for the Water Authority of Jordan, one of the country’s largest energy users. The financing, provided under the EBRD’s Local Enterprise Facility (LEF), will also be used to improve management and operation of the pumps. The LEF is supported by the EBRD Multi-Donor Account.

Heike Harmgart, Head of the EBRD office in Jordan, said: “Energy is an acute problem in Jordan and this partnership will contribute to the increased use of energy-saving measures. In addition, this public-private partnership will have an important demonstration effect and encourage further participation by the private sector in vital public sector improvements.”

“Engicon and its subsidiary Engicon O&M have played an important part in the development of Jordan’s water sector in the past two decades and we are passionate about continuing this work,” explained Firas Matar, CEO of Engicon O&M. “This exciting initiative with the EBRD will enable us to make an even greater difference to the country’s water efficiency; our investment in the Wala and Lib pumping stations will have a significant impact, especially with regard to energy efficiency. We believe this project will become a model for future investments in the infrastructure sector in Jordan.”

To date the Bank has invested about €200 million across 9 projects in Jordan.

The ESCOs that will benefit from the EBRD loan are to be incorporated in Jordan and are 100 per cent owned by Engicon O&M, a Jordanian operations and maintenance company.