The study will be completed in April 2009 and will be followed by a decision on the construction of the plant on a build-operate-transfer basis.

The plant, which will be Jordan’s first desalination plant, is due to come online in 2010 and will have a capacity of 10 million cubic metres a day (cm/d).

Demand for water in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) has grown with increased investment in the area.

ASEZ now consumes 15.5 million cubic metres of water a year and the plant will allow it to become self-sufficient in terms of water.