Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco), South Korea’s Lotte Engineering & Construction and Saudi Arabia’s Xenel Industries have started construction work on the $465m Al-Qatrana independent power project (IPP) in Jordan.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on 3 March. The first phase of the 373MW plant is expected to come online on 30 November 2010, to be followed by a second phase on 25 August 2011.

The project is to be built on a build-own-operate basis for a period of 25 years and will use natural gas as its main fuel source with light distillate fuel as backup. Natural gas will be supplied from Egypt via the Jordanian Gas Pipeline.

Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (Nepco) will receive power from the project for an initial 25 years.

Germany’s Fichtner and the US’ K&M Engineering & Consulting are technical consultants on the Al-Qatrana plant. The project reached financial close in October last year with the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank, Germany’s KfW, France’s Proparco and the World Bank providing finance (MEED 15:1:10).

Al-Qatrana is Jordan’s second IPP and was launched by the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources. The country’s third IPP is currently in the feasibility study stage. Unlike the first two projects, the Jarqa IPP will be executed by Nepco instead of the ministry.