Amman, December 2023: Under the patronage of Minister of Transport, H.E. Eng. Wesam W. Tahtamouni, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) for the establishment of a 4.8 MWac photovoltaic (PV) solar farm. The event was attended by representatives of Airport International Group shareholders, relevant airport authorities, the project developer and various partners.
Emphasizing a commitment to reducing its environmental impact, Airport International Group signed an agreement in July 2023 with Shams al Mattar lil-Taqa - a wholly owned subsidiary of Kawar Investment - to design, build and operate a high-quality PV solar farm. The project spans an area of approximately 65,000 sqm of contiguous unused land located within QAIA premises north of the Northern Runway. The solar farm is estimated to generate over 10.5 GWh of electricity yearly, representing more than 24.5% of the airport's operational energy requirements, which equates to powering over 3,000 households. Additionally, the implementation of the solar farm will result in a reduction of around 12,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually and decrease associated costs. The solar farm is expected to begin producing electricity by Q3 2024.
On this occasion, Minister of Transport, H.E. Eng. Wesam W. Tahtamouni, remarked, “Laying the cornerstone for this solar farm project marks a significant and deciding step in solidifying QAIA's position as a leading eco-friendly global facility and as one of the largest solar-powered airports in the MENA region. We take pride in this important project, which is set to become one of Jordan's most distinguished infrastructure initiatives. We view this opportunity with a sense of profound responsibility, pledging our support to drive the solar farm to the forefront of groundbreaking renewable energy ventures within the regional aviation sector, while demonstrating the success of public-private partnership projects."
Airport International Group Chairman, Fernando Echegaray, commented, “Today, we are not just breaking ground; we are breaking barriers and setting an example for the entire region, demonstrating that airports can be at the forefront of eco-conscious aviation. This onsite solar farm is a crucial step towards making Queen Alia International Airport one of the largest solar-powered airports in the MENA region. By harnessing the power of the sun and deploying innovative solutions in the global fight against climate change, this cutting-edge project underscores our unwavering pledge to environmental responsibility - an obligation that has proven crucial within the global aviation industry. We sincerely thank the Ministry of Transport and Kawar Group for their invaluable support and expertise, which are instrumental to our success."
Meanwhile, Airport International Group CEO, Nicolas Claude, explained, “As the operator of Jordan's prime gateway to the world, Airport International Group has consistently prioritized environmental stewardship at QAIA. The establishment of this solar farm is a crucial step towards reducing our carbon footprint and propelling us as one of the largest solar-powered airports in the MENA region. This project also reinforces our position as the first airport in the Middle East and second in Asia Pacific to reach Level 4+ 'Transition' of the Airport Carbon Accreditation Program and a two-time recipient of the ACI Asia-Pacific Green Airports Recognition in 2017 and 2022. This agreement signifies our commitment to achieving net zero carbon status by 2050, promoting environmental sustainability at QAIA and contributing to greener air transport and tourism industries in Jordan."
In turn, Kawar Energy CEO, Hanna Zaghloul, stated, “We're proud to have been chosen by Airport International Group as the developer and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for this vital project at one of Jordan's most iconic solar energy infrastructures. Our dedication to safeguarding the Kingdom's environment will be manifested in the prevention of 12,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually once the solar farm is fully operational. We view this opportunity with great responsibility as we commit to building a project that will position QAIA as a renewable energy pioneer within the regional air transport industry supporting Jordan's Economic Modernization Vision in achieving its renewable energy targets."