Iran’s Water Supply from Persian Gulf Company (Wasco) has invited local and international firms to prequalify for the construction of the first phase of a major water transmission line in the southeast of the country.

Wasco plans to build a pipeline transmitting treated desalinated water from the Gulf to serve three mining and mineral industry complexes.

The initial prequalification announcement covers only the first stage of the project, which will be tendered on a procurement, construction and finance (PCF) basis. It includes a 285-kilometre, 62-inch steel pipeline to transport 110 million cubic metres a year (cm/y) through seven pumping stations from Bandar Abbas on the Gulf to the Golgohar Industrial & Mineral Complex, 1,800-metres above sea level in the Kerman province. The complex produces about 8 million tonnes a year (t/y) of iron ore and has reserves estimated at more than 470 million tonnes.

Later phases of the pipeline’s development will supply the Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex, 2,700 metres above sea level and then on to the Steel and Mineral Industries Complex in the Yazd province in central Iran.

The company estimates the cost of the first phase at approximately IR14,000bn ($1.14bn). Contractors will have to bear 60 per cent of the total cost, which will be recovered within four years of the project’s completion, which is expected to take four years itself.

The planned tender will be open to international firms in consortiums or in joint venture with local companies, where at least 51 per cent of shares are held by the Iranian partners. Prequalification documents will be available until 26 August and Wasco has set a deadline of 19 September for firms to make their submissions.

The project manager for the scheme is the local Toossab Consulting Engineers Company.

Wasco’s main shareholders include Golgohar Mineral Industrial Company, National Iranian Copper Industries Company and Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Company.