Jordan's cabinet on Sunday approved an agreement to build a mega oil shale power plant in the Kingdom, Jordan's energy minister Mohammad Hamed said.
"The agreement will be signed between the Jordanian government and an international Estonian-Malaysian consortium within two weeks, and it's the first of its kind in the region," the minister said.
Jordan has over 40 billion tons of oil shale in reserves and the 2.4-billion-U.S. dollar power plant will produce electricity through direct oil shale burning, the minister said.
The 470-megawatts power plant, which is expected to be operational in early 2018, will be built by Estonia's Eesti Energia, Malaysia's YTL Power International and Near East Investments of Jordan.
The Kingdom now imports about 96 percent of its energy at a cost of 2.8 billion dollars annually, or 21 percent of its gross domestic product. It plans to increase self-produced energy to 60 percent of its consumption by 2020.