Tunisia’s SONEDE secures $328 million for Sfax seawater desal project

Tunisia’s national water utility SONEDE has secured a loan of JPY 36.7 billion ($328 million) from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build a seawater desalination plant at Sfax.

The money is for a 100,000 m3d/d facility, for construction, procurement and installation of water transportation pipes, and for consultation services including bidding assistance and construction supervision.

A tender announcement of the initial procurement package for international competitive bidding on project construction is scheduled for August 2017, and a letter of invitation for consulting services including construction supervision will come in October 2017.

The project is expected to complete by June 2023.

Sfax is Tunisia’s second largest city, with a population in the metro district of 600,000 people. It has experienced a water shortage in 2017, and the gap between water supply and demand is predicted to reach 150,000 m3/d by 2030. The project is expected to improve the living environment, and to contribute to economic development and social stability in the region.

The loan term is for 25 years, of which the first seven will be a grace period with interest of 1.7 per cent.