The estimated $35 million project involves the construction of a main earth-fill dam, 40 metres high and 844 metres long along the crest. A secondary dam will be built to enclose the reservoir which will have a capacity of 31.5 cubic metres a hectare. The project also requires the installation of pipes into the dam for feeding the water downstream and the construction of several flow control stations. The construction period is 32 months.

Upon completion, scheduled for 2008, the Beni Haroun water supply project will provide 504 million cubic metres a year (cm/y) of water to six northeastern projects. Of this, 242 million cm/y will be supplied as drinking water to 4.6 million residents of Constantine, Jijel, Milla, Oum el-Bouaghi, Batna, Ain Mlia and Khenchela. A further 262 million cm/y will be used for the irrigation of 30,000 acres of land.

The Beni Haroun project forms part of a wider programme co-ordinated by the national dams agency ANB and the Water Resources Ministry to improve water supply to inhabitants of the country’s coastal strip. The 51 existing dams have a capacity of 5,620 million cubic metres, supplying a regulated volume of 2,750 million cm/y. ANB plans to increase this volume to 6,150 million cm/y by 2010, requiring a near doubling of the dam reservoir capacity to 10,840 million cubic metres.

A French/Spanish group of Alstom and Dragados & Construcciones was awarded the Eur 110 million ($106 million) engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and the Eur 32 million ($31 million) operation and management contract for the Beni Haroun project at the end of last year (MEED 18:1:02).