The Great Manmade River Authority (GMRA) has awarded contracts worth about $2,000 million on its $20,000 million great manmade river (GMR) project to transport water to the north of the country from huge aquifers beneath the desert in the south.

The largest package went to Canada’s SNC Lavalin, which has agreed an estimated $1,100 million, four-year extension to its contract to operate the concrete pipe manufacturing plant at Sarir, in the east. The extension covers the supply of pipes to the third phase of the GMR project, which involves the construction of a 383-kilometre pipeline from the Al-Kufra wellfield in the southeast to Sarir (MEED 7:1:05).

GMRA has selected Turkey’s Tekfen for the $660 million-700 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the 383-kilometre-long pipeline. The five-year contract includes the collection, transportation and installation of 3.6-4-metre-diameter pipes. Designs for the pipeline, which will link up with the existing phase 1 GMR pipeline between Tazerbo and Sarir, have been completed by the UK office of Japan’s Nippon Koei (MEED 29:7:05).

GMRA has also awarded a joint venture of Turkey’s Oztasand the local North General Contracting Company (NGCC)an estimated $130 million-140 million contract to design and build a water conveyance system between Abu Ziyyan and Al-Ruhaybat, near Tripoli. The 116-kilometre pipeline is an extension of the $4,000 million first phase of the GMR project.

The contract involves the procurement, supply and installation of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) pipe of varying diameters. GMRA elected to go for the GRP design after reviewing proposals from 10 contractors for two alternative designs, one based on GRP pipes, the other on ductile iron pipes. The project also calls for the construction of 44 concrete water tanks. UK-based Brown & Root North Africa (BRNA)is the consultant on the project (MEED 22:7:05).

BRNA has been awarded a one-year contract to project manage the completion of the 24 million-cubic-metre-capacity Omar el-Muktar grand reservoir in Benghazi. The reservoir is the largest on the GMR project and will supply water for agriculture in the Benghazi area. Construction is being carried out by the local Al-Fadeeland involves the construction of a 30-metre-high, one-kilometre-diameter rock-filled bund that will be lined with a 60-millimetre flexible asphalt membrane. The asphalt is being laid by Austria’s Strabag, which is working as a subcontractor to Al-Fadeel.