Some 35 companies have purchased tender documents for the estimated $500 million contract, which will transfer water from an underground reservoir in the Ghadames region to coastal towns west of Tripoli. The project is expected to carry a total of 250,000 cubic metres a day of water, providing drinking water for over 1.25 million people living in Zauara, near the Tunisian border, Zawiya and small towns along the course of the pipeline.

The contract involves the procurement, supply and installation of a total of 620 kilometres of pipeline, with diameters ranging from 15 centimetres to 1.4 metres. The selected contractor will also be required to build four pumping stations along the length of the pipeline, with two 10,000-cubic metre tanks at each pumping station and two other 70,000-cubic metre storage tanks located elsewhere along the pipeline. Other elements of the contract include the construction of a main operations, support and maintenance centre at Zauara, the operation of the system for one year and the supply of maintenance and spare parts for a further year. The local Engineering Consultancy Office for Utilities (ECOU)and France’s Safegeare consultants on the project.

Phases 1 and 2 of GMR are already up and running, supplying a total of 4.5 million cubic metres a year to Benghazi, Sirte and Tripoli. Phase 3 of the giant water conveyance project is split into two elements, which are being managed by Nippon Koei UK.

The first section will be the development of a new wellfield in the Khufra region in the far southeast, where exploration drilling has been under way for two years. The second element comprises the section now known to some as phase 5, which involves the extraction of groundwater from the Jaghboub region and the construction of a transfer pipeline to Tobruk (MEED 14:12:01, Cover Story).