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Jordan forced to use fuel reserves for power

Egypt pipeline blast cuts off major gas supply to Jordan

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The attacked gas pipeline helps Jordan meet 80% of its power generation needs. (GETTY)
The attacked gas pipeline helps Jordan meet 80% of its power generation needs. (GETTY)

The gas pipeline to Jordan that contributes about 80% of the country's power generating capacity, was attacked on Saturday, forcing Egyptian authorities to cut off and isolate the flow.

Ministry Secretary General Farouq Hiyari said officials have been in contact with Egyptian authorities and have switched power generation stations to diesel and heavy oil to continue electricity generation, according to the Jordan Times.

"We have sufficient reserves of diesel and heavy oil for 30 days," Hiyari told the newspaper.

Security  has since been beefed up around the pipeline in the north of the Sinai peninsula which is twinned with a pipeline feeding into Israel. An official told AFP that the pipeline supplying Israel has also been cut. It is alleged that the attackers had intended to strike the pipeline supplying Israel. 

It is still unclear as to who the attackers were as well as whether or not it has anything to do with the current unrest in Egypt, the Arab world's most populated country. Some reports say that local armed Bedouin groups are to blame whilst others say outside forces are at play. Opposition parties and the Egyptian public have called for the President Hosni Mubarak's government to stop supplying Israel with gas.

Jordan Times reported that the Kingdom's National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) said the country's power plants have two weeks worth of diesel and over one month worth of heavy fuel in strategic reserves.

Repairs to the damaged pipeline could take from three to four days to over a week according to various official sources.

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