Under an agreement signed with the Natural Resources Authority (NRA), the Jordan Cement Factories Company (JCFC) will utilize oil shale from the Lajoon area in Karak. NRA Director General Maher Hijazeen signed the MoU in behalf of the authority while JCFC General Manager Rasheed Ben Yakhlouf represented the company. To finalise an industrial experiment, the JCFC has expressed willingness to use 56,000t of the Lajoon oil shale to produce cement. The company will conduct this trial to identify the appropriate quantity that can be used in the fuel and cement production without leaving any negative effect on the specifications of the produced cement and the environment in the Kingdom. According to the MoU, the JCFC would work on qualifying the area for extracting oil shale there.
Hijazeen said that the company would provide 10t of the oil shale from the Lajoon mine as a sample for future researches and studies. The exploration program would include drilling of ten wells in two sections in order to reach all the oil shale levels and then take the samples from the wells to conduct the needed tests and analysis. (original report from the Jordan Times).
Spokesmen said earlier this year that the JCFC has already launched some attempts to use oil shale instead of the fuel oil and this is one of the company’s contributions to reduce the effect of the sharp increase in the fuel oil prices. "If we succeeded in this attempt, we would be the first company to use such method in the country, and open the door for other industries to try it." They added: "The cost of the energy used in the cement industry in Jordan is the highest in the world, and we must search for alternatives." Jordan has a reserve of oil shale estimated at 40 million tonnes, which would supply the country with its needs of energy for hundreds of years, the NRA source concluded.