JD2.5 billion national carrier project tops gov’t priorities — Shraideh

A desalination station at Jabal Ali, in Dubai, the UAE. The National Water Carrier Project will provide about 300 million cubic meters of adequate and sustainable desalinated water per year, according to the minister of planning. (Photo: National Geographic)
AMMAN — Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Shraideh chaired a coordination meeting on Tuesday with multilateral international financial institutions and funding agencies, where he asserted the importance of facilitating funding for the National Water Carrier Project (Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Transport Project) as part of his ministry’s efforts to galvanize international support for this strategic project through best available financing conditions.اضافة اعلان

Attending the meeting were Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammed Najjar, Minister of Finance Mohammad Al-Ississ, and the secretary-general of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, in addition to chief executives and directors of international financial institutions and funding agencies.

Shraideh reviewed the outlined draft terms of reference for the Aqaba-Amman water transport and desalination project (national carrier), including the government financial contribution, as well as the customs and tax guarantees and exemptions that the government intends to provide to the project to enable funders to make their respective decisions on the project.

Shraideh reiterated the strategic importance of the project to the Kingdom, pointing out that the national water carrier is considered a vital strategic project tops the government’s priorities, and is of key importance for water security in the context of comprehensive economic development. He also noted that the national water carrier project is foremost on the government’s investment projects for 2021–2023.

The project, which will be fully implemented on Jordanian territory through 450km of pipelines will provide adequate and sustainable desalinated water of about 300 million cubic meter per year. Shraideh briefed the meeting on the water situation in the Kingdom and the challenges facing the sector at present as a result of several factors, like the Syria crisis, climate change, population growth, and the sector’s growing needs.

The project will be implemented through the Planning Ministry in coordination with the Water Ministry as well as donors and funding agencies, who will jointly develop a plan to mitigate water losses across the Kingdom’s governorates, modernize and upgrade water systems, and achieve sensible water management, according to Shraideh.

The capital value of the project is estimated at $2.5 billion, part of which will be funded through grants and government contribution, and the other part in the form of soft loans that will be provided directly to the project’s developer. The government is also working intensively to implement the national carrier, which will be providing water from the Gulf of Aqaba to Amman and the northern governorates.

Shraideh expressed the government’s gratitude to all the entities that support the project, namely the US, which offered financial and technical support early on, and the European Investment Bank for its financial contribution to the project’s environmental impact study.

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