iðnaðar- og viðskiptaráðherra
til heiðurs orkumálaráðherra Jórdaníu
Dear colleague, Honorable Minister Sabri,
It is a true pleasure for me as Minister of Energy to receive you here in Iceland.
Even though there are long distances between our two countries the Icelandic people have followed the development in Jordan for many years. One reason for that is - because His Majesty King Hussein frequently stopped by here in Iceland on his trans-Atlantic flights. Such an event looks trivial at first but it has a great impact in the longrun. I hope His Majesty King Abdullah will be able to continue to visit us - as his father did - so often before him.
We, the Icelandic people are blessed with rich energy resources. In spite of the fact that we use more electricity per capita than any other nation we have only harnessed a small proportion of the potential that we have. This applies both to the hydro power and geothermal power.
The production of electricity has been an important element in our economic development as our power intensive industry is based on low electricity prices that we have been able to offer to industrial investors.
The geothermal power has primarily been utilized for heating our houses and today more than 85 % of all our houses are heated with natural geothermal power. In addition to this - geothermal power is to an increasing extent being used for the production of electricity, - especially from our high temperature fields. Geothermal energy has also been an important addition to our tourist industry and I believe that His Majesty King Abdullah will have the opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon tomorrow.
I am proud to say that we have enjoyed the company of four students from Jordan in the geothermal training program at the United Nations University here in Reykjavik. One of them, Mr. Eimish is here with us today.
Minister Sabri, - let me finally say that the utilization of our geothermal power has been of great importance to us - and I am convinced that the same will be the case for Jordan.