World Bank invites bids for Red Sea-Dead Sea canal study

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Thursday April 5, 2007
 

Amman- The World Bank has invited international companies to
bid for a feasibility study to examine the environmental and social
impacts of the 5-billion-dollar Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance
project on the surrounding countries, officials said Thursday.
“The overall objective of the 15.5-million-dollar study is to
evaluate the conveyance of water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea as
a way to address environmental degradation of the Dead Sea region,”
according to the project’s statement.

The three littoral states – Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian
Authority – have placed advertisements in major local dailies
inviting interested firms to present their offers.

Divided into two sections, the study focuses on the environmental
and social impacts as well as the overall feasibility of the proposed
canal. Companies will be allowed to bid for the whole study or just
one part.

The firm that wins the bid will also be required to examine the
possibility of seawater desalination and energy production.

The World Bank said the winning company should submit its report
within two years. The eventual construction of the canal is expected
to cost around 5 billion dollars, officials said.

The Red-Dead project is part of an international effort to save the
Dead Sea, the level of which has been dropping at a rate of 1 metre
per year, largely due to diversion of water from the River Jordan for
agricultural and industrial use.

During the past 20 years alone, it has plunged more than 30 metres,
prompting experts to warn that it could dry up within 50 years.

The proposed canal will be built along the border with Israel in
Wadi Araba, pumping 650 million cubic metres (mcm) of water annually
from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. It is expected to generate 550
megawatts of electricity.

The project also entails the setting up of a desalination plant
that provides Jordan with 850mcm of potable water a year.


© 2006 – dpa German Press Agency

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