Jordan Red Sea project developer 'will be announced in May'

Following evaluation of 30 letters of interest in the massive Red-Dead water transfer and desalination project, Jordan's Ministry of Water & Irrigation will announce the qualified bidder to serve as the master developer this month, according to the Jordan Times on 11 May 2010.

The newspaper quotes Adnan Zu'bi, ministry assistant secretary general and spokesperson, as saying that international companies to partner with the ministry in the Jordan Red Sea Project (JRSP) are expected to be announced in May: "We are in the final phases of evaluating the letters of interest and we expect to announce the results this month."

The US$ 10 billion JRSP, to be implemented in five phases, aims at addressing the country's severe water shortage by providing 120 million m³/year of water in its first phase and expanding to 700 million m³/year in later phases. Phase 1 involves transferring Red Sea water by pipeline to a desalination facility to be built in Aqaba.

Construction of the JRSP by private sector companies with the support of the Water & Irrigation Ministry will take up to 30 years in total. Contracts are likely to be on a build-operate- transfer basis.

Water generated from the plant will be distributed to Aqaba and development projects in the area. The brine from the desalination plant will be discharged into the Dead Sea to curb the decline in its water level, according to the ministry.

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