Implementation of Phase 1 of a Comprehensive Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) Management System in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan


Jordan free of Polychlorinated Biphenyl Chemicals (PCBs) - Engineers testing sampling electrical transformers for PCBs contamination in Jordan Arabdev

The project objective is to provide necessary tools and increase technical capacity of the country to meet the requirements with respect to the Stockholm Convention with the overall objective of safeguarding the environment and health from PCB impacts at the national and global levels.

What have we accomplished so far

  1. Issued the final draft of the legislation with the participation of various stakeholders.
  2. Develop technical specifications for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), purchased and distributed.
  3. Develop technical specifications for the storage areas and the adoption of three sites for temporary storage (Irbid, Zarqa, Ma’an).
  4. Adapting Work place safety measures when dealing with PCBs in the field
  5. Develop terms of reference for the project database (with the participation of the international expert and discussions with project stakeholders) system was finalized on December 2012.
  6. Adapting sampling mechanism through the use of PDAs and bar code printers as a key component of inventory process.
  7. The software were installed and deployed during 12/2012 -  1/2013 where training workshop was held to train teams on using database system,  mechanism of collecting samples and the use of PDAs / Bar code Printers.
  8. PCB analyzer devices have been distributed to testing centers except Ma'an area, where the company requested transferring designated location from Ma'an to Amman due to lack of staff for testing  process.
  9. Action plan has been prepared for the project team to visit working sites in order to conduct cross check on transformers, information and samples at stakeholders’ sites.
  10. Currently working with the international expert on preparing PCBs disposal tender document for oils and equipment containing PCBs. The tender document must include cost-effective treatment methods

Expected outputs

Output 1.1: PCB laws, regulations and guidelines are upgraded to international standards

Output 1.2:  Country-wide awareness of existing laws, regulations and guidelines, especially at stakeholder level.

Output 2.1: National capacity to analyze PCB suspected substances is improved

Output 2.2: Extended sampling and testing of PCB is ensured and completed with regular reporting to the central PCB database

Output 2.3: ESM system is developed and approved at the national level for mandatory application

Output 2.4: Through specialized trainings, the national capacity for secure management of PCBs is improved and sustained. Owners of PCB equipment apply ESM guidelines for safe handling of these devices

Output 2.5: Regional storage facilities have been identified, assessed, upgraded and put into operation with relevant training of storage personnel

Output 3.1: “Pure” PCB and PCBs contaminated devices (transformer and capacitors) will be disposed of in EMS manner as a priority PCB stockpile

Output 3.2: 100 tons of PCBs contaminated material will be disposed of ESM manner

Output 4.1: M&E and adaptive management are applied to provide feedback to the project coordination process to capitalize on the project needs;

Output 4.2: Lessons learned and best practices are accumulated, summarized and replicated at the country level.

Who Finances it?

Donor name Amount contributed
GEF $ 950,000
UNDP $ 150,000
Ministry of Environment $ 50,000

Delivery in previous fiscal year


2012: 90%

Project start date:
January, 2011
Estimated end date:
December, 2013
Focus Area:
Hazardous Materials, Stockholm and Basel conventions
Responsible Party:
UNDP and Ministry of Environment
Implementing Partner:
Ministry of Environment
Project Budget:
1,150,000 USD

Jordan has ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in 2004, and the Ministry of Environment (MoEnv) became the national focal point for POPs issues. By becoming a party, the Government had taken on the mandatory obligations to implement the Convention and the control measures identified in its guidance text.


The first step towards meeting the obligations was the development and formulation of the National Implementation Plan (NIP) for Stockholm Convention. The NIP was prepared and transmitted to the Stockholm Convention Secretariat in December 2006.


The requirement to deal with Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) has been identified and highlighted in the NIP of Jordan. It was reported that no PCBs were ever produced in the country or re-exported, and that some of the old electrical equipment could contain PCBs. The PCB equipment was in fact an imported product originating from other countries. The two main chemical which were suspected to be in the equipment were limited to Askarel and Sovtol.


The main barriers are summarized in the list below, these will be targeted by the project:


·         Limited legislation which does allow comprehensive regulation of the PCB management.

·         Insufficient sectors wide data on the PCB inventory/stockpiles.

·         Limitations in the PCB analytical capability.

·         Low level awareness on the PCB associated risks and dangers.

·         Limited capacity and knowledge in maintenance procedures for PCB containing equipment.

·         Caution and knowledge to avoid releases of PCB and limit exposure to workers and environment.

·         Limited infrastructure to store the PCB materials for their sound management in line with international standards

·         Lack of experience at the country level for PCB disposal.

Ministry of Environment is currently implementing the project “Phase I of a comprehensive Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) management system in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” with financial and technical support from Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).