Jordan to splash out on water project

$5bn desalination plant to alleviate country?s water shortage.

Jordan will be spending big to increase the provision of potable water.
Jordan will be spending big to increase the provision of potable water.

Jordan is ploughing a massive US$30 billion into infrastructure projects between now and 2030, starting with a US$5 billion water desalination plant - open to bidders this week.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the Minister of State for mega projects, Imad Fakhoury told reporters the state would be investing heavily in the construction of water, transport and energy facilities - inviting bids for the construction of a Red Sea desalination plant from next Monday.

He said: “We are targeting over the next three years from our capital expenditure budget about $3.5 billion for water, transportation and energy projects.

“By 2030, you are looking at about $30 billion of infrastructure projects that will take place through public-private partnership initiatives.”

Speaking to the newswire about the tender for the first phase of the project of the desalination plant, worth between US$4.5 billion and US$5 billion, he added: “We will, next week, be issuing the request for qualification.”

The winning bidder for plant will be responsible for constructing the project’s facilities, providing maintenance services for a pre-agreed period of time before returning ownership to the government.

To date, as many as 29 international companies have expressed interest in the project, which is scheduled to complete within 25-30 years and cost as much as US$10 billion.

With a view to helping Jordan – the world’s fourth most water-deprived country – with its deficit of 132 million gallons of water, the plant will extract 106 billion gallons from the Red Sea per year, to produce 53 billion gallons of fresh water annually.

According to Fakhoury, excess sea water and desalination brine will be discharged into the Dead Sea - level of which has dropped by about 1 metre per year during the last decade.


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