On 1 August 2019, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Jordan, H.E. Engineer Hala Zawati, visited SESAME. She was accompanied by one of Jordan’s delegates to the SESAME Council, Abdul-Halim Wriekat, and staff members of her Ministry.
This was the Minister’s first visit since SESAME’s solar power plant came into operation in March 2019.
Construction of the solar power plant was in many ways thanks to the Ministry of Energy since it was through this Ministry that the Government of Jordan generously agreed to allocate JD 5 million (US$7.05 million) to build the power plant. These resources were from funds the European Union (EU) had donated to Jordan to support the deployment of clean energy sources.
All SESAME’s energy needs are now being met by the solar power plant and this has made SESAME the world’s first carbon neutral accelerator laboratory. It has also allowed it to become one of the signatories of the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative
During the visit, the Director of SESAME, Khaled Toukan, informed the Minister that the solar power plant was working extremely well, and he underscored how very important it was for the economic and environmental sustainability of SESAME. He then showed her around the experimental hall, particularly the tunnels of the booster and the main storage ring.
The machine was in operation during her visit, and she was able to see at first hand users carrying out experiments on SESAME’s XAFS/XRF (X-ray absorption fine structure/X-ray fluorescence) spectroscopy and IR (infrared) spectromicroscopy beamlines. This was a team from Turkey and another from Egypt. Both beamlines came into operation in 2018 and a third beamline, the MS (Materials Science) beamline, is expected to come on stream at the end of the year.