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‘Winning bid in Red-Dead project to be announced soon’

By Hana Namrouqa - Oct 26,2016 - Last updated at Oct 26,2016

AMMAN — The winning bid to implement the first phase of the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project (Red-Dead) will be announced in early November, a government official said on Wednesday.

A total of 17 international alliances submitted their pre-qualification proposals and a technical committee is now in the final process of studying and evaluating the proposals, a Water Ministry official told The Jordan Times. 

“The winning bidder, which will be an alliance of international companies, will be announced very soon, probably early next month,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Construction is planned to start during the first quarter of next year, according to the official.

Under the first phase, a total of 300 million cubic metres (mcm) of water will be pumped each year. Eventually, up to 2 billion cubic metres of seawater will be transferred from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea annually under the Red-Dead project, according to the ministry.

A total of 85-100mcm of water will be desalinated every year, while the seawater will be pumped out from an intake located in the north of the Gulf of Aqaba.

In addition, a conveyor will be extended to transfer desalinated water as well as a pipeline to dump the brine into the Dead Sea to stop its constant decline, estimated at one metre every year.

The Kingdom will receive an additional 50mcm of water from the Lake Tiberias Reservoir annually to be added to its share from the desalination station to provide Aqaba with water, according to the ministry.

In December last year, the ministry published a call for tenders in local and international newspapers for the implementation of the first phase of the Red-Dead project and on May 30, the ministry closed the submission of the pre-qualification proposals.

The Red-Dead project’s main components are a seawater intake structure; an intake pump station; a seawater pipeline; a desalination plant with a capacity of 65-85mcm per year; a desalination brine conveyance pipeline; two lifting pump stations; hydropower plants; and discharge facilities at the Dead Sea.

Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel and Palestine in December 2013 to implement the first phase of the Red-Dead project.

Palestine will receive 30mcm of freshwater to cover its water deficit, according to the memo, while Israel will buy its share of 50mcm of desalinated water from the project at cost value and sell Jordan the same amount of water in the northern Jordan Valley at a cost of JD0.27 per cubic metre.

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