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KEPCO invests in Jordan

South Korea’s state-controlled electric utility company on Monday said it has inked a deal to build and operate a wind power plant in Jordan.

The US$510 million agreement calls for Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) to build the 89.1 megawatt Fujeij wind farm in the Middle Eastern country. The agreement also includes a power purchase agreement (PPA) that outlines the details of the utility company operating the plant and selling the power generated to Jordan.

The build, own and operate arrangement gives KEPCO complete control over all aspects of the project.

KEPCO has tapped Vestas, a Danish company that specializes in the construction of wind farms, to actually build the power plant.

“The Fujeij project marks the first time that KEPCO will control a 100 percent stake in a foreign wind farm and represents the first PPA reached in the region by a South Korean company,” it said.

The site of the wind farm is located some 150 kilometers south of Amman and will require $180 million in investments. Construction will begin in 2016, with operations to go online by late 2018.

KEPCO will be able to operate the plant for 20 years and expect to make some $26 million annually by selling the power it generates.

The agreement will also receive project financing support from the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

KEPCO became the prime negotiating partner for the project in 2013 after an open bidding process and, following detailed negotiations, secured the order from Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

The company said that the latest deal marks the third it has secured in the kingdom, following the building of the combined cycle power plant in 2008 and a diesel-operated electric power generation unit in 2012.

“Jordan’s energy demand is expected to go up about 7.3 percent annually, with 10 percent of the total to come from renewable sources by 2020,” KEPCO said. This, it said, makes the country attractive as a future growth market.

It also said that based on this success, KEPCO plans to make headway in the international wind power market in places like Latin America and Asia.

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