Position: Energy & Mineral Resources Minister
Biography: As Energy & Mineral Resources Minister, Khaldoun Qteishat has one of the toughest government portfolios. While the Finance Ministry has to deal with the country’s high energy import bill, the onus is on the energy ministry to come up with the solutions. Currently, the country’s oil and gas production is negligible, power has to be imported from Egypt to supplement local generation, and electricity demand is outstripping capacity increases. Qteishat, born in 1959 and educated in Jordan, where he studied electrical engineering, is leading a multi-pronged approach to address the issue. Based on an energy strategy drawn up in 2007 at the instigation of King Abdullah, the kingdom is seeking to broaden its use of nuclear and renewable energy, reduce demand and develop its resources, particularly oil shale. The ministry is also the client for two independent power projects, the second of which is under negotiation.
Contact: (+9626) 5811 338
Position: Director general, National Electric Power Company (Nepco)
Biography: Ahmed Hyasat has been working for the state electricity sector for his entire career, first at the Jordan Electricity Authority (JEA) from 1976, and then for Nepco, when the JEA was split into three companies in 1999. He was manager of JEA’s international department from 1988-1997, and then assistant managing director for technology and technical affairs until November 2002, when he became director general. As head of Nepco, Hyasat is responsible for the maintenance and development of the country’s substations and transmission lines. He is also in charge of power purchase agreements between generators and distributors, and manages the exchange of electricity with both Egypt and Syria. Hyasat has a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Moscow Power Institute and is deputy chairman of Irbid District Electricity Company.
Contact: (+9626) 5818 230
Abdel Fattah al-Nsour
Position: CEO, Central Electricity Generating Company (Cegco)
Biography: Abdel Fattah al-Nsour became chief executive officer (CEO) of Cegco in April 2008, the culmination of 25 years in the sector. He has been an employee of Cegco since its creation in 1999, when it was made responsible for the state’s electricity generation sector. Al-Nsour previously held a number of posts at Aqaba thermal power station before becoming Cegco’s director general in October 2003. His professional experience also includes 10 years as a shift engineer at the Jordan Electricity Authority. Cegco was part-privatised in September 2007 when Energy Arabia – a local joint venture of Amman-based JD Capital, Malaysia’s Malakoff Berhad and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company – bought a 51 per cent stake. This was followed in November by the sale of a further 9 per cent to the state-owned Social Security Corporation.
Contact: (+9626) 5356 986
Position: Chairman, Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC)
Biography: Khaled Toukan became chairman of the JAEC in 2008, following a seven-year stint as education minister. He has also been a member of King Abdullah’s Economic Consultative Council since 1999, and from 2004-05 was a member of the National Agenda Royal Committee, a domestic reform initiative. His education includes a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a masters degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan and a degree in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut. As head of the JAEC, Toukan is responsible for a $10bn nuclear programme that aims to provide 30 per cent of Jordan’s power needs by 2030. He has already supervised deals with the US, France, Canada and the UK, and is planning deals with Russia, China and South Korea.
Contact: (+9626) 5232 514
Position: President, National Energy Research Centre (NERC)
Biography: As president of the NERC, Malek Kabariti is responsible for increasing the share of renewables to 10 per cent of Jordan’s energy mix by 2020. Kabariti has been head of NERC since its creation in 2000. He is also a member of the Royal Energy Committee set up in 2007 by King Abdullah to evaluate the country’s energy requirements and of the Royal Consultant Committee, set up in the same year to implement Jordan’s energy programme. Prior to his appointment at NERC, he held senior positions at the organisation’s predecessor, the Renewable Energy Research Centre, which he joined in 1978. He is also a founding member of Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Co-operation. He has a masters degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University and a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Texas.
Contact: (+9626) 5338 041
Position: Director general, Natural Resources Authority (NRA)
Biography: As director general of the NRA, Maher Hijazin is one step removed from the country’s energy sector, but his role is arguably more important than those of his counterparts at the Jordan National Petroleum Company (JNPC) and Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC). While JNPC is responsible for Jordan’s oil production and the JPRC for refining, the NRA is tasked with attracting much-needed international investment into the sector. Hijazin has supervised the launch of an exploration round to develop the country’s conventional oil resources and he is also negotiating with international companies to exploit the country’s plentiful oil shale resources. Plans are being developed to use the oil shale as feedstock for a new generation of power stations. Hijazin has headed the NRA since 2004, when he took over from Mohammad Gharaybeh.
Contact: (+9626) 5811 808