A consortium led by Japan’s Nippon Koei is expected to sign a consultancy contract soon, valued at around $50 million for the first phase of the Greater Melen river water supply project for Istanbul. This follows approval by Japan’s Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund (OECF) for the award by the State Hydraulics Agency (DSI).

Other members in the consortium are the UK’S Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners and Mott MacDonald, and five local firms, Temelsu. Su Yapi, Setan, Sial and Dapta.

The closest contender to the group out of six consortia bidding for the contract was a group led by the US’ Brown & Root, according to industry sources.

The six-year consultancy will be ‘5 per cent financed by the OECF, which is providing around Y 112,100 million ($1,120 million) towards the total $1,400 million cost of the first phase. Construction is expected to start in 1997 for completion in 2001. The first phase includes a weir on the Melen river, a 1 50-kilometre transmission pipeline, pumping stations, a water treatment plant, and a sea-bed crossing of the Bosporus.

The project is the largest of two water supply projects currently planned by the DSI to relieve Istanbul’s often chronic water shortages (Water, MEED Special Report, 26:1:96, page 12).