Jordan’s plan to supply W Bank town Jericho with power delayed

By Xinhua

Amman : Jordan’s plan to supply electricity to the Palestinian West Bank city of Jericho was delayed after the Jordanian National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) faced resistance from Jordan Valley landowners who insisted that the route of the power line should not cross their land, the Jordan Times reported on Sunday.

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The power supply, which was scheduled to start at the end of December last year, is now expected to commence late February.

“The program was going according to schedule, but in late December we faced objections from landowners who asked us to change the route of the power line. Therefore, we initiated the process of land acquisition to reroute the line and have completed all procedures,” NEPCO Director General Ahmad Hiasat was quoted assaying.

There was also a delay on the part of the contractor in charge of implementing the project, he said, adding that they did not face any obstacle on the Palestinian side.

Work is almost completed on the 22-kilometer overhead line on Jordanian territory, according to Hiasat.

Providing electricity to Jericho will not affect the power supply in the Jordan Valley area, he said.

Electric power will be sold to Jericho at preferential prices upon a Palestinian Authority request made during a meeting between Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbaslast year.

Once Jericho is linked to the Jordanian power grid, it will stop receiving electricity from Israel, according to officials. Jordan purchases electricity from Egypt during peak hours, while it sells power to Syria during the night, according to Hiasat.