A consortium of Japan’s Hitachi, France’s Veolia and Egypt’s Arab Contractors has been awarded a $221m contract to provide pretreatment facilities for a water desalination plant planned in Basra in southern Iraq.

The work will involve providing pretreatment facilities and associated facilities, including river intake facilities and water transport facilities for the desalination plant. The consortium was awarded the $115m contract to build the desalination plant in January. The construction of the facilities will be partly financed by a loan from the Japanese government.

The reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant will be the largest of its type when completed, with a scheduled capacity of 199,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) of water. The plant will help provide drinking water for the 2.3 million residents of Basra. The client is Iraq’s Municipalities and Public Works Ministry.