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5 alliances shortlisted to execute Red-Dead’s phase I

By JT - Nov 27,2016 - Last updated at Nov 27,2016

AMMAN — The Water and Irrigation Ministry on Sunday announced the completion of the prequalification process, shortlisting five consortiums out of 17 that have expressed interest to implement and fund the first phase of Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project (Red-Dead).

Red-Dead project is a leading strategic project on a national and regional scale for its potential to provide drinking water, water for other uses, preserve the Dead Sea and generate electric power.     

Phase 1 of the $1.1-billion project comprises the installation of a desalination plant north of Aqaba city with a capacity of 80-100 million cubic metres per year of desalinated water, while the resulting brine will flow to the Dead Sea to help reduce its degradation. 

The ministry said in a statement Sunday that the prequalification stage is a key step towards implementation, pointing out that the process started with an open invitation to all local and international companies specialised in this sector to present offers that meet the prequalification conditions. In the outcome, 93 international companies specialised in executing similar projects, applying the buy, operate and transfer (BOT) formula, showed interest and purchased the tender documents.

The statement showed that 17 international alliances comprising 60 companies presented their offers by July 20th in response to the invitation.

The five shortlisted consortiums include 20 specialised companies from China, France, Singapore, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Spain.

The first stage of the project consists of two components: a purification and desalination plant and an advanced water pumping system to deliver the brine to the Dead Sea, including in sea discharge facilities. Power plants will also be built along this pump line to produce 32 megawatt annually.

The first stage of the implementation plan relies on a 25-year BOT deal with the selected investor/executor. The building and running costs will be covered by the price of the purified water and the water delivered to the Dead Sea, while the ministry will conrtribute $400 million, fundraised through grants from friendly countries and the international fund.

The first stage of the project starts in the first quarter of 2018 and ends in the last quarter of 2020, which will give the ministry the chance to start a number of touristic and industrial projects in the adjacent valley area. In collaboration with Arab Potash Company, a “unique” research centre will be built to oversee that the environment will remain intact during the entire project and in its aftermath.

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