The Jordanian government approved Russia's Atomstroyexport as technology provider for the country's first nuclear reactor, the head of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission said on Monday.
Atomstroyexport beat a consortium of French Areva and Japan's Mitsubishi for Heavy Industries to win the bid, Khaled Touqan, the commission chief, said at a press conference.
Under the deal, Atomstroyexport will provide the VVER1000-AES99 technology for the Jordanian nuclear reactor, said Touqan.
Russia's Rosatom was selected as a preferred bidder for building the nuclear reactor, said Touqan, adding that Rosatom Overseas will be a strategic partner, investor and operator of the reactor.
The total cost of building the reactor, which will have two power plants, each with a 1,000-megawatt capacity, will hit 10 billion U.S. dollars, he said.
He added that the Russian side will have a 49-percent share in the reactor, while the rest will be owned by the Jordanian government.
Touqan did not specify how the reactor in Zarqa governorate will be funded by the Jordanian government, but said all options remain open.
The official said that the government will sign agreements with the Russian side to start the construction of the reactor in two years, when an ongoing study of the site is finalized. The first plant at the nuclear reactor is expected to start production in 2020, he said.
Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Mohammad Hamed said the project is of key interest to the Kingdom, which imports energy to cover about 97 percent of its needs.
"In light of the growing demand for electricity, the repeated cuts in natural gas supplies and the rise in cost of fuel for power production, it is a must to speed up the operation of the nuclear reactor," said Hamed.
Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani stressed the importance of the project, which, he said, will significantly reduce spending on fuel for power generation.