Disi deadline extended

31 March 2006
The Water & Irrigation Ministry has extended to 9 April the deadline for international companies to express interest in the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract to develop the estimated $600 million Disi Mudawarra-Amman water conveyor project. The project involves the extraction of water from an aquifer in the Disi-Mudawarra area in the south and the construction of a 325-kilometre pipeline to transport 100 million cubic metres a year to the capital (MEED 24:2:06).

Interested companies are understood to include the former Saudi Oger-led consortium, which was selected in June 2004 as the preferred bidder when the project was last tendered. The consortium included a joint venture of Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) and Turkey's Tekfen as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. However, Black & Veatch International, another member of the consortium, is understood not to be pursuing the project (MEED 6:8:04).

Officials at the ministry say the length of the proposed BOT contract is yet to be decided and that Amman has pledged funding for the project. 'The government has committed about $200 million towards the project,' says a senior ministry official. Amman recently reached agreement with Riyadh over co-operating over the use of the well field at Disi-Mudawarra.

The delay is the latest twist in a long-running saga that has seen the project scrapped several times.

After cancelling the original BOT scheme in November 2004 in favour of a conventionally procured project, Amman transferred it to the Development & Investment Projects Fund of the Jordanian Armed Forces. In July 2005, responsibility for Disi was handed back to the ministry with the procurement method undecided (MEED 29:7:05; 8:4:05).

UK-based Brown & Root North Africa is the consultant.

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