Six international and local groups have been invited to submit technical and commercial proposals by the end of September on the estimated JD 425 million ($600 million) project (MEED 16:6:06).

‘The main issue facing the Disi project was that the money was not available,’ Water & Irrigation Minister Mohamed Zafer Alem told MEED on 2 July. ‘If we [the government] had the choice we would pursue conventional methods and implement it ourselves.’

The project involves the extraction of water from an aquifer in the Disi-Mudawarra area and the construction of a 325-kilometre pipeline to transport 100 million cubic metres a year (cm/y) to the capital. UK-based Brown & Root North Africa is the consultant.

The RFP is the latest twist in a long-running saga that has seen the project scrapped several times. After cancelling the original BOT scheme in November 2004 in favour of a conventionally procured project, Amman transferred it to the Development & Investment Projects Fund of the Jordanian Armed Forces.

In July 2005, responsibility for Disi was handed back to the ministry (MEED 29:7:05; 8:4:05).

‘We felt the prices were not reasonable for the last BOT tender,’ said Alem. ‘The new tender is different because we are more transparent and flexible in our approach. Even if we do not receive offers in September, Disi will go ahead the ministry is looking at the conventional method in parallel.’

Amman loses up to 450 million cm/y of water, mainly through leaks in the supply system, but by developing its existing resources and improving the efficiency of the system, the ministry aims to reduce the losses to 413 million cm/y by 2010. Once Disi is operational in 2011, the ministry hopes to further reduce the deficit to 367 million cm/y by 2015. It is targeting a surplus of up to 202 million cm/y by 2022.

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