Hitachi-led consortium gets large Iraq desalination job

A consortium comprising Hitachi, Veolia Environnement subsidiary OTV and The Arab Contractors, a nationalised Egyptian construction company, has received an order from the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities & Public Works for the engineering, procurement, and construction of a large desalination plant in Basrah, in the south of Iraq.

The ¥ 25 billion (US$ 242.8 million) order will also include operation and maintenance management for a period of five years. Hitachi will oversee the project as the leader of consortium.

Construction of the 199,000 m³/d reverse-osmosis plant is scheduled to begin in February 2014, with completion scheduled for July 2016.

Existing water purification facilities in Basrah, with a total capacity of 400,000 m³/d, are unable to keep up with the city’s huge demand for fresh water – estimated at up to 900,000 m³/d – and are deteriorating.

The new plant will purify river water drawn from close to the river mouth, where salinity is relatively high. This will be Iraq’s highest capacity single water-purification plant, capable of supplying 400,000 people.

This is the first time since the end of the Iraq war that a Japanese company has received an order for a large-scale water infrastructure project based on internal funds from the Iraqi government, rather than Japanese government yen loans.