Belgium’s Tractebel Engineering has signed a $12m consultancy deal with the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC).

Under the contract, Tractebel will carry out a site study for the country’s first nuclear power plant. The commission wants to build the project nine kilometres east of Aqaba.

This will include a seismic and environmental assessment of the site, which could hold up to four nuclear reactors.

Once the site has been approved and licensed, JAEC will issue a tender for the construction of the plant, It is set to start producing electricity in 2018.

The first power plant will use either one or two reactors with capacity of 1,000-1,400MW each.

Five other consultants had bid for the work including Russia’s Atomstroyexport, Canada’s SNC Lavalin, Korea Power Engineering Company, the US’ Paul C Rizzo Associates and Australia’s WorleyParsons (MEED 26:6:09).