EBRD helps Jordan transform waste into energy

By Nibal Zgheib

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Jordan mountains nearby the river
Mayor of Amman, Akel Biltaji and EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti at the signing during the 2015 EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Tbilisi, Georgia.

US$ 13 million loan to Greater Amman Municipality
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$13 million loan to Greater Amman Municipality to help manage solid waste, generate electricity and reduce CO2 emissions, all of which will have a substantial environmental impact.
The project will help to implement a comprehensive landfill-gas (LFG) recovery system, the first of its kind in Jordan, designed and constructed with gas-collection technology. Given the innovative nature of the investment and the potential energy savings, the EBRD is co-financing the loan with US$5 million from the Bank’s Green Energy Special Fund (GESF). The main donor to the GESF is the Taiwanese International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF).
The landfill gas will be used to generate electricity for delivery to the national grid, replacing electricity produced by grid-connected power plants that previously used heavy fuel oil.
The investment will create substantial benefits for the environment. It will also serve as a model by establishing a new solid waste company, owned by the city of Amman, and by introducing a public service contract between the city and the newly created company.
EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said: “This project provides a unique opportunity to promote sector reform. We aim to strengthen the operational, financial and environmental performance of municipal solid waste management in Amman. The project represents a further deepening and strengthening of our engagement in Jordan.”
Greater Amman Municipality mayor, Akel Biltaji, said: "Amman, the City of Compassion, is proud to partner with EBRD  in resorting to the  nature  for the production of renewable and green energy. "
Technical cooperation (TC) activities for a feasibility study and environmental and social due diligence were financially supported by the European Union through its Neighbourhood Investment Facility. The government of Austria is providing further resources to ensure appropriate supervision of engineering and to support project implementation. Finally, the project will also benefit from TC for the divestment of solid waste services, for corporate development and for assistance with governance, as well as to oversee the preparation of a livelihood restoration plan.
Jordan became a member of the Bank in 2012 and to date the EBRD has committed US$ 422 million across 22 projects in various sectors of the economy. Through the EBRD’s Small Business Support programme the Bank has also initiated 95 technical assistance capacity-building projects that directly benefit Jordanian small and medium-sized enterprises.
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