Hitachi and Veolia duo wins US$ 240 million Iraq pretreatment contract

A consortium of Japanese and French industrial giants, Hitachi and Veolia Environnement, alongside Egyptian engineering firm, ArabCo, have won a ¥ 24 billion (US$ 240 million) order from the Iraqi government to build pretreatment facilities at a desalination plant in Basrah, Iraq.

The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract value is split between the consortium and ArabCo with ¥ 10 billion (US$ 100 million) going to Hitachi and Veolia. Construction is scheduled to begin in October 2014, with completion scheduled for April 2017.

The pretreatment facilities include surrounding river water intake facilities and water transport networks. The Japanese government has provided loan assistance for the construction of these. 

The contract – awarded by Iraq’s Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works – is an addition to an earlier EPC and five-year operation and maintenance deal, won by the Franco-Japanese consortium, for the Basrah plant.

The plant EPC was awarded in January this year.

The Basrah reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant will be the largest facility of its kind in Iraq, capable of supplying drinking water at 199,000 m3/d.

It will use RO to desalt brackish water drawn from a river estuary. The facilities covered by the additional order won by ArabCo, Hitachi, and Veolia -through its OTV subsidiary – will provide coagulation and sedimentation pretreatment.

The consortium will be responsible for the river water intake and water transport facilities. It will be responsible for the design, delivery, and testing of mechanical and electrical facilities. ArabCo will be responsible for civil engineering, construction, and on- site installation work.

Vice president and executive officer and resident and chief executive officer of Hitachi’s Infrastructure Systems, Kunizo Sakai, said: “We look forward to contributing to the maintenance and improvement of the water environment in Iraq by putting in place reliable water infrastructures.”

Veolia’s senior executive vice president, global enterprises, Jean-Michel Herrewyn, said: “This plant will significantly improve the quality of drinking water provided to the city of Basrah and will eliminate spikes in salinity caused by tides and winds.”

Hitachi and Veolia subsidiary, Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies, signed a partnership to collaborate in water infrastructure projects overseas. Both companies said they anticipate growing demand for water infrastructure projects in the future, particularly in emerging countries.