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Jordan’s first water desalination plant opens in Aqaba

Prime Minister Hani Mulki tours Jordan’s first water desalination plant that opened in Aqaba on Saturday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Kingdom’s first water desalination plant opened in Aqaba Saturday, set to work at a capacity of 500 cubic metres per hour, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 
The plant, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Hani Mulki, will be running in affiliation with the KEMAPCO Arab Fertilisers and Chemicals Industries, one of the companies under the Arab Potash Company's (APC) umbrella, Petra reported. 
The desalination project was implemented by KEMAPCO on the principle of build-operate-transfer (BOT). This formula of public-private partrnership allows the state to recover its investment after a set period of time. In this case, it is seven years, and when the firm transfers it to the government, it will be helping the Ministry of Water and Irrigation run the facility. 
APC’s Chairman Jamal Sarayrah said the project aims at desalinating Red Sea water with the support of the Water Ministry and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Petra reported. 
The clean water it will generate, estimated at around 5 million cubic metres annually, will be used for drinking purposes, agricultural and industrial needs, Sarayrah added.
Water Minister Hazem Nasser said the project, which would meet Aqaba’s water needs until the year 2035, is to be fully supplied with renewable energy sources, with the methane gas emitted by the plant and solar energy to generate electricity for the entire project. 
The plant will provide the same amount of water as the Disi project, the main water conveyance project that brings water to Amman from Disi aquifer in the southern desert.
Sarayrah noted that his company used to consume around a million cubic metres annually from Disi water. 
The biggest portion of water will be pumped into the Aqaba Water Company network to be distributed to consumers, the top executive said, adding that the project was totally handled by Jordanian workers. It will also cover the water needs of KEMPACO, the fertiliser production arm of APC. 
Also on Saturday, Mulki attended the signing ceremony of a deal to expand Aqaba’s sewage water treatment plant, as well as agreements to execute the WadiRahma and WadiFeidan dams by the WadiAraba Development Company in Reisha area.
He also inaugurated the sea market project, an investment by the Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Ministry.
 
Jordan Times
March 18, 2017