$1bn Jordan water project set to start
Amman, July 8, 2009
Following the finalisation of the funding for the $1 billion project to supply water to Northern Jordan by GAMA Energy, construction is expected to begin in July.
GAMA Energy is a joint venture between GAMA Holding, a unit of global contractor GAMA and GE’s GE Energy Financial Services.
The Disi Water Conveyance Project includes construction of a 325-kilometer pipeline that will pump water from the Disi aquifer in Mudawarra to Jordan’s most populous city, the capital of Amman.
The investment will create jobs and promote private sector participation in Jordan’s development.
It is expected to supply Amman and surrounding areas with more than 100 million cubic meters of water a year. The use of water from the reservoir in Disi-Mudawarra started in the early 1980s for municipal and industrial purposes in the city of Aqaba.
The first in a series of fundings was made today (July 8).
The Disi project is the largest privately financed water supply project in Jordan and the surrounding countries. GAMA Energy, based in Ankara, will invest approximately $190 million, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation of Jordan will provide a $300 million grant, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the US, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Proparco of France will collectively provide $455 million in debt financing.
The Jordanian ministry previously signed loan agreements with the EIB and the French Development Agency (AFD).
In 2007, the Government of Jordan awarded GAMA a concession to build and operate the water pipeline. GAMA Energy will own the project for a 25-year concession period, after which it transfers to the Government of Jordan.
The project’s construction, by an affiliate of GAMA Holding, is expected to take four years and use an estimated 250,000 tons of steel and involve the digging of 55 wells. The project will extract water from the Disi well fields in the 325-kilometer-long Disi sandstone aquifer in Jordan and deliver it to the Abu Alanda Reservoir and the Dabuk Reservoir.
Disi Amman Operation Maintenance LLC, fully owned by Suez Environnement, will provide long-term operations and maintenance services.
GAMA Energy managing director and board member M Arif Ozozan said: “GAMA Energy is honoured to help Jordan solve its water problem, improve the quality of life and accelerate the Jordanian economy through job creation and infrastructure improvement. We also take pride in the vote of confidence we won from the financial community by closing a $1 billion project amidst the worldwide economic downturn.”
Andrew Marsden, managing director of Europe at GE Energy Financial Services, said: “In keeping with GE’s commitment to expand its activities in the Middle East, this important project will help alleviate the critical water needs of Jordan.”
“This transaction will provide GAMA with a solid infrastructure development foothold in the region while enhancing the value of the GAMA Energy growth platform,” said Hakan Ozman of GAMA Holding.
Jordan’s water resources per capita are among the world’s lowest. Water is delivered only once a week to Amman’s residents. Jordan's annual water consumption is 900 million cubic meters, and it will need 1.6 billion cubic meters per year to meet its requirements by 2015.
The Disi Water Conveyance Project will account for approximately six per cent of Jordan’s total consumption projected in 2015. – TradeArabia News Service