Electricity industry started in Jordan in 1937 when Amman municipality approved exchanging lighting of the streets of the municipality of Amman from kerosene lamps by two hundred electrical lamps. They were provided by Amman Company (the late Mohammad Ali Bdeir & partners) according to an annually renewable license.
The company rented an engine capacity of 7 horse-power from a mill so as to operate the mill during the day and light streets at night.
The company developed and bought a plot of land at Ras Al-Ain area including the first power generating plant in Jordan. At that time, the company collected the small size generators available at the municipality by allowing their owners to be shareholders at the new company.
The company imported other generators. Total capacity reached 400 horse-power and the capital was 5,600 Palestinian pounds.
The company developed its activities by lighting streets at night and continually providing consumers with power. Therefore, Amman electricity was the first Arab company in charge of generating and distributing electricity through Arab funds and skills.
Jordan electricity partnership was established to replace Amman electricity company; capital of 100,000 Palestinian pounds to cover the increasing power demand.
The company increased its generating power by installing and operating two engines capacity of 600 horse-power to cope with the increasing power demand; generating power was nearly 6,000 horse-power.
Three new generating units were installed capacity of 1,335 kW per unit; total generating power was 8,000 kW approximately.
Jordan electricity company was incorporated with central Jordan electricity company in one company under name of Jordan Electricity CO. Ltd. The company was granted a franchise for fifty years as of 1962. To cover the increasing power demand, the company constructed Marka Power Station.
In view of the increasing power demand necessary for economical and social development, due to low level of electricity systems at the south governorates and for the urgent need an integral and strong electrical system infrastructure to cover all the parts of the kingdom and provide with sufficient quantities and high quality power for the Jordanian clients, the government made a study in 1964 to develop the electricity industry in Jordan. The result of which was a seven-year plan (1964-1971) to develop the electricity sector; it included the following elements.
Establishing Jordan electricity authority to take over generating and transmitting and selling power to distribution companies on wholesale basis and distribute electrical power in the areas that are not subject to franchise companies.
Establishing Jordan electricity project; including a central power plant consisting of fairly big size steam turbines.
Improving and extending the existing power generating plants and constructing a transmission network voltage of 132 kV to cover all parts of the kingdom and improve and develop the existing distribution networks.
To execute the above mentioned plan, the government founded Jordan electricity authority in accordance with electricity law no. 21 of 1967 its duties were confined to:
Generating electricity according to proper and economical basis meeting consumers needs.
Settings up a national electrical grid to transmit electricity ensuring power transmit to all parts of the kingdom.
Establishing sub-networks to distribute electrical power in the areas that are not subject to franchise companies.
To achieve these duties, Jordan electricity authority established the first power plant in the kingdom run by steam and gas turbines power plants; the first gas turbine was connected with the electrical network capacity of 14.7 MW on May 5th, 1975 whereas the first steam unit was connected with the network in 1977 capacity of 33 MW within the first phase project at the power plant. Total capacity was 132 MW.
Upon completion of the first phase of el- Hussein thermal power station, run by heavy fuel, electrical system witnessed high development and improvement in performance and continuity of providing Jordanian consumers with electric current.
In view of the increasing demand of electrical power necessary for economic and social development in the kingdom and in view of accomplishment of the national electric transmission network, Jordan electricity authority added power generating plants at el-Hussein thermal power station; current total capacity is 397 MW furthermore; several gas generating units were established diesel operated And were distributed in several areas of the kingdom to be close from electricity loads centers.
As Jordan depends mainly upon importing fuel from abroad the kingdom, there has been a focus of generating power extension on the basis on lessening used fuel quantities. Accordingly, Aqaba thermal power station was founded; which is characterized by high thermal efficiency due to utilization of sea water in condensing steam issued from steam turbines.
This plant was accomplished in 1999. Presently, it consists of five steam units; per capacity is 130 MW contributing with 61% for the Jordanian electrical system via transmitting power through overhead lines of 132 kV and 400 kV This power is characterized, too, as a connection point between the Jordanian and Egyptian electric networks.
On september 1st, 1996 establishment of the national electric power company was officially announced as a legal and actual successor of Jordan electricity authority. Before that, general electricity law no. 10 of 1996 was issued to replace the general electricity law no. 16 of 1986, in which electricity sector regulatory commission was established accordingly. The new electricity law setting up a control body to regulate electricity sector and set basis and rules that govern relations among the sector corporations, issue licenses for power generating, transmitting and distributing, review tariff, set control system on electricity service concerning credibility, safety procedures, environment and client protection. To continue the procedures of restructuring electricity sector, the government decided on October 4th, 1997 to restructure the national electric power company by separating power generating activity from transmitting and distribution activities; per activity to be operated according to commercial rules through establishing an independent company per activity as follows:
National Electric Power Company
It has remained fully owned by the government. Its duties are power transmit and control, buy electricity from generating companies then sell to distribution companies and transmit and exchange electrical power through electrical connection networks with Arab countries.
Electricity Distribution Company
It remains fully owned by the government at an interim stage till its privatization. It is in charge of electrical power distribution in the areas of the national electric power company. It devolved property of distribution networks outside the franchise parameter of the two other electric distribution companies.
Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO)
It is in charge of electrical power generating.
On September 20th, 2007 Energy Arabia (Enara), a company established by Jordan Dubai Energy, the energy investment arm of Jordan Dubai Capital, announced the purchase of 51% of Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO).
The transaction gave Jordan Dubai Energy, Malakoff, the Malaysian electricity giant and the Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) represented by Enara a 51% stake; the Government of Jordan retained 40% and the remaining 9% shares will be transferred to the investment unit of the Social Security Corporation.
In June 2011, ACWA Power International ( a Saudi developer, owner and operator of power generation and desalinated water production plants) acquired majority stake in CEGCO. ACWA Power currently owns 90% stake in ENARA, which in turn owns 51% controlling stake in CEGCO, the Government of Jordan retained 40% stake of CEGCO, and 9% is held by Social Security Corporation.