The section will run 18 kilometres from Taba, in south Sinai, to the Jordanian port of Aqaba. The sources say the contract poses a difficult technical challenge because of the depth of the water and the tight schedule demanded by Al-Sharq. The client has said it wants to complete the job by the end of March. However, it is expected that this schedule will be put back two months.
Egyptian companies are building the trans-Sinai section of the pipeline, which will be fed with gas from offshore Mediterranean fields. An Egyptian consortium has also been selected for the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract for the Jordanian stretch of the line. The gas will be transported to a planned power station in the north.
Supplies to Jordan are to start at 1,100 million cubic metres a year (cm/y) by the end of 2003, rising to 3,500 million cm/y after 10 years. There are also plans to extend the pipeline to Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus and Turkey.