In December 1995, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP) completed its first environmental management program with the National Electric Power Company of Jordan (NEPCO), formerly the Jordan Electricity Authority (JEA). Submitted directly by NEPCO in mid-1994, this was a direct utility-to-utility collaboration, without the need for external funding. This project had the full support and attention of NEPCO’s senior management and was deemed a success by both parties.
The purpose of this program was two-fold. First, the GSEP assisted NEPCO in assessing the effectiveness of its existing environmental management practices in relation to international standards, and to identify potential environmental impacts at its Hussein and Aqaba Thermal Power Stations. Since the results of the review were easily translated into actual environmental improvements, several actions were taken to address areas of concern identified in the environmental review of the power plants.
Secondly, the project prepared NEPCO for the pending adoption of national environmental regulations and standards by proposing an Environmental Management System (EMS) framework and providing environmental training and technical information. Linkage between actual environmental issues at NEPCO and ISO 14001 environmental management system guidelines provided for a systematic approach to continual improvement in environmental performance at NEPCO.
Two field missions to Jordan in 1995 were used to gather background data, interview utility staff, and review the environmental effects of the operation of two thermal power stations. The results of the environmental effects review were documented in a report presented to NEPCO in May 1995.
A second task involved assisting NEPCO in developing the framework for an environmental management system. The final report was delivered to NEPCO in September 1995.
Seminars on environmental awareness, environmental auditing, and the management of air emissions, were delivered to NEPCO staff in Jordan in September 1995. A technical report on the management of air emissions was also produced.
The uniqueness of the GSEP’s assistance was the wide scope of each member company’s experience in meeting their respective country’s environmental regulations and their familiarity with the best environmental management practices for electricity generating stations.
The project was successful in its objectives, in that NEPCO immediately moved to implement GSEP’s recommendations for an environmental management system. In the year following the conclusion of the project, NEPCO prepared a draft environmental policy and took measures to increase environmental awareness within the utility. Corrective actions were also taken at the power plants that were assessed by GSEP member company experts, and the process of developing a network for monitoring air emissions was initiated, based on GSEP’s recommendations. The results of this project were presented in a paper jointly authored by the project team and NEPCO at Eco-Informa ’96, held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, November 4-7, 1996.
When asked of the usefulness of this assistance, our Jordanian colleagues were extremely positive in their response. They found all of the task reports “of great use”, and have shared them with both consultants and funding agencies. They found the Environmental Effects Review and the EMS report of “great value” and felt the project budget was used wisely.