Implementation of phase I of a Comprehensive polychlorinated biphenyl management system in 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. The project objectives include: 

  • Regulatory and administrative strengthening for PCB management by developing local regulations to control handling of PCB and contaminated equipment to be disposed of completely by the end of year 2025.
  • Improving PCB inventory and technical capacity for Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) of PCB equipment and materials.
  • Increase awareness for all those who are dealing with PCB contaminated equipment because of its harmful impacts on human health and the environment
  • Demonstration projects for disposing of PCB containing equipment before the end of the year 2025.

What have we accomplished so far

  • Upgraded the National capacity to manage PCB through transfer of technical advice and specialized training
  • PCB materials are better  identified, labeled, stored and disposed of using environmentally sound ways
  • PCB equipment is recorded in a centralized manner for the use by authorities and for public information
  • upgraded analytical capacity through the supply of portable equipment and GC protocols and specialized trainings for existing labs
  • PCB holders are aware of PCB risks associated with equipment  maintenance and retirement
  • Three regional PCB storage facilities established and  upgraded to meet international  standards with appropriate training for personnel
  • provided  the private sector with professionals to pick-up, transport and handle indentified PCB materials in ESM manner
  • Equipment containing PCB (40  tons) and oil contaminated with  PCB above 50 ppm (100 tons)  are disposed of according to  international standards and  practices for all times
  • Support local laboratories to get the accreditation for the analysis of PCBs by using the GC for more accurate results
  • Equipment containing pure PCBs (45 ton) disposed off outside the country by a specialized and qualified disposal facility. All PCBs contaminated material were packaged and transported.

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:
June 2015
Focus Area:
Hazardous Materials, Stockholm and Basel conventions
Responsible Party:
UNDP and Ministry of Environment
Implementing Partner:
Ministry of Environment
Project Budget:
USD 1,150,000

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).