Following years of limited water resources and conflict, Iraq is now focusing its efforts on improving water and wastewater sectors.
As part of several national plans to modernize basic services, the Iraqi Ministry for Municipalities and Public Works has contracted Veolia to build and operate a 200,000 m3/day desalination plant over five years.
Worth $115 million, the plant will supply water to 2.3 million people and will use ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes.
The contract was won in partnership with Japanese conglomerate Hitachi and Egyptian engineering firm ArabCo.
Due to Iraq facing electricity shortages, plans are in place for the desalination plant to have its own electricity generators to ensure continuous service.
With the country's sole access to the sea, Basra is the subject of special attention from the Iraqi government, which is modernizing the port city in a bid to speed up its economic growth.
Construction work on the plant is due to commence in the first quarter of 2014 and should be completed by the middle of 2016. The construction and operation of the facility will create 350 jobs.
Jean-Michel Herrewyn, director, global enterprises, Veolia Environnement, said the provided technology will help Basra to “enable it to improve its citizens' access to quality drinking water while protecting its resources”.
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