AMMAN — Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Kharabsheh convened with representatives from Jordan’s industrial chambers on Thursday to deliberate on the industrial sector’s needs concerning ministry-led projects and programs, seeking to enhance communication with sector partners.
According to Jordan News Agency, the meeting underscored the array of services provided by the ministry to bolster the industrial sector, including the launch of the third phase of an energy efficiency support program last year, targeting the sector as a key employer and economic contributor. The initiative is designed to increase industrial competitiveness against the backdrop of escalating production costs, slash energy expenses, and facilitate the execution of energy conservation projects to achieve sustainability. A comprehensive financing scheme has been developed in collaboration with several commercial banks, the Central Bank of Jordan, the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC), and the Jordan Chamber of Industry to aid this program.
Kharabsheh explained that the Renewable Energy Promotion Fund underwrites 50% of the energy audit costs for a factory, authorizes the research, and grants a loan of JD350,000 to the factory owner for project implementation. The ministry’s support package also includes coverage of interest or Murabaha, along with loan guarantee fees with the JLGC, enabling factories to access financing without additional cash flow strains. Beneficiaries can repay the bank in monthly installments that equal the savings on their electricity bills.
The minister also urged industry representatives to utilize the “time-of-use tariff,” a system offering optional reductions for various sectors, including medium-sized industries, based on the timing of energy consumption to reduce electricity expenses. The effectiveness of this system will be assessed for potential broader application in the future.
Furthermore, Kharabsheh presented opportunities for the industrial sector to partake in renewable energy development in Iraq, with Jordanian firms prioritized for constructing energy stations and sharing expertise.
Representatives from the industrial chambers acknowledged the benefits of participating in the energy efficiency support program and expressed challenges related to meeting the program’s criteria. They pointed out that the time-of-use tariff does not benefit some industries operating continuously across peak and off-peak periods. They also identified a lack of awareness about the advantages of energy audit studies as a hurdle, resulting in tepid interest in the energy efficiency program, and called for more streamlined loan procedures from affiliated financing bodies.