Jordan’s Arab Potash Company (APC) expects to receive by first week of April technical and commercial offers for the construction and repair of dykes that contain pipelines transporting brine from salt pans from the Dead Sea to its potash production facilities in the south and west of the Lisan Peninsula.

The shortlisted companies comprise mostly international and regional contractors. “Some of them are from Turkey, US, Italy, India and China,” a company spokesperson tell MEED.

APC said it expects to award the contract between July and August.

The project is fully funded by APC.

Lebanon’s Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) has been commissioned to undertake detailed design of the rehabilitation and reinstatement of the dykes, which have been out of operation since 1999. The detailed design and scope of construction works are underway.

The dykes, measuring 11.6 kilometres in length and about 14 metres in height, were damaged shortly after their construction and during the first impoundment of brine water from the solar evaporation pond, or salt pan, in 1999.

Potash is a potassium-containing mineral that is a primary raw material in the global fertiliser industry.

According to APC, the breach in 1999 resulted in the loss of about 55 million cubic metres of brine water back into the Dead Sea in a short period of time. The flowing brine water washed away 2.3km of the dyke.

The site on which the dykes were build has special subsurface conditions including the presence of thick soft clay deposits that undergo substantial settlement when loaded, presence of multiple ground water aquifers, artesian pressure, and appearance of sinkholes related to continuous lowering in the Dead Sea level.