The State Hydraulics Works (DSI) is inviting about seven international consultancy firms to bid to design the $270 million Yesilcay water supply for Istanbul (MEED 15:4:94). The treasury has approved the scheme and Prime Minister Tansu Ciller is expected to give the go-ahead soon. The bidder shortlist includes firms from the US, the UK, France and other European countries.

Priority projects backed by foreign loans can be excluded from the 20 per cent reduction in development spending that forms part of the 5 April austerity package. Istanbul urgently needs additional water supplies, and faces an expected drought this summer. The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has agreed to finance 60 per cent of the total cost. The project includes the construction of two regulators on separate rivers, a 60-kilometre transmission pipeline, and a water treatment plant with a capacity of 500,000 cubic metres a day (cmd).

The DSI is also proceeding with plans to invite bids from consultants for the Greater Melen river project for Istanbul. Japan’s Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund (OECF) has agreed a total of $1,050 million in assistance for the $1,400 million project, and signed up the first tranche of $495 million in November. The main features of the scheme are the construction of a dam and water regulator near the mouth of the river on the Black Sea to the east of Istanbul, and a 174-kilometre pipeline to the city. Other components include pumping stations along the pipeline, reservoirs, and a water treatment plant with a capacity of about 700,000 cmd in the city.