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Jordan electricity tariff hikes kick in

Some consumers could pay as much as 15% more for power from this month.

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Jordan's King Abdullah
Jordan's King Abdullah

Jordan has introduced planned electricity tariffs of up to 15% in a bid to curb subsidies and cut losses at National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) by 2017.

The government rejected calls by some business to reduce or delay the level of the rate increases, the Jordan Times reported.

"The new electricity tariff will go into effect as previously scheduled. We are committed to this increase, which will range from 5-15 per cent depending on consumption and sectors," Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Mohammad Hamed told the newspaper.

"We will not reconsider the percentages of increase as this is in line with a five-year plan that entails putting an end to the losses of NEPCO and reaching the cost recovery by the end of 2017," said the minister.

NEPCO lost JOD 1.2bn ($1.7bn) in 2014, the same as in the previous year, as the country was forced to shell out on expensive fuel oil imports to make up for the disruption in Egyptian gas supplies.

Egypt turned off the taps last year due to suffering its own shortfall in gas for power generation amidst soaring demand.

Lifting subsidies is one of the conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in return for a $2bn loan to address a widening budget deficit.

Households that consume 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month and under, who represent the majority of customers, will not witness any increase in their electricity rates until the end of 2017.

Households consuming above that level have seen their tariffs rise from JOD 0.141 to JOD 0.152 per kWh this year and the rates will rise to JOD 0.188 by 2017.

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