Published: 2018-01-02 12:30
Last Updated: 2018-01-02 12:45
Jordanian government allocated 1.5 million JDs ($2.1 million) in 2018 national budget that was approved on Sunday, for gas pipeline linking the Kingdom with Israel, Al Ghad Newspaper reported.
The cost of the project is expected to increase to 3 million JDs ($4.2 million) in 2019, and to 6 million JDs ($8.5 million) by 2020.
Earlier on Sunday, the Lower House voted in favour of the state budget and budgets of independent government units draft law in a session witnessed the absence of more than 30 MPs, who boycotted the deliberations.
However, Jordanians criticized the quick endorsement of the state budget for 2018 in one day, amid expectations that 2018 going to be tough year with endorsed policies included ending bread subsidies.
In September 2016, Jordanian government-owned National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) signed an agreement with Noble Energy, the owner of 39% of the Leviathan natural gas field in Israeli territorial waters.
The agreement aims to import 40% of the Kingdom’s needs of electricity.
The deal will enhance regional cooperation and allow Jordan to utilize gas field discoveries in the Mediterranean to build a gas network with lines to export gas from these discoveries and link them to Europe, according to a statement released earlier in September 2016 by NEPCO.
However, Jordanians went to the streets protesting against the gas deal. Also, groups of Jordanian activists and lawyers were calling the government to stop the deal and stop ‘normalizing’ relations with Israel.
On the other hand, the Jordanian government responded saying that Jordan suffers from the high cost of producing electricity and is looking for cheaper alternatives, including the import of natural gas.