Work to build Jordan’s first potash plant on the banks of the Dead Sea included moving 16 million cubic metres of earth and constructing about 117 kilometres of seepage-proof dykes that were 8 metres wide at the top.

The plant was completed in 1982, and production began the following year. Its initial capacity was 1.2 million tonnes a year (t/y), which was later increased by 200,000 t/y.

In 1994, work began on a second plant, with a capacity of 400,000 t/y. It cost $120m to build and took Arab Potash Company’s (APC’s) capacity to 1.8 million t/y.

Following the completion of a second cold crystallisation plant in 2010 (at a cost of $450m), the company had four plants and a capacity of 2.4 million t/y of potash, making it the world’s eighth-largest producer. It employs around 2,200 people.

In 2016, APC tendered a contract for the construction and repair of dykes that contain pipelines transporting brine from salt pans in the Dead Sea to its potash production facilities.

The two dykes have been out of operation since 1999. Measuring 11.6km in length and about 14 metres in height, they were damaged shortly after their construction. Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah is responsible for the design of the rehabilitation and reinstatement of the dykes.