Jordan: International firms line up for Red Sea-Dead Sea project as tender closes
Experts warned that the Dead Sea is on course to dry out by 2050. (File photo)
Jordan's ambitious project to build a canal linking the Red Sea to the Dead Sea has moved a stepped closer to fruition as 17 international firms submitted bids for construction yesterday, AFP reports.
Originaly conceived over ten years ago, the water-sharing deal between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories moved closer to reality after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the three parties in December 2013.
Under the proposed terms of the MoU, Palestine would receive 30 million cu m of freshwater to cover its water deficit, while Israel will buy its share of 50 million cu m of desalinated water from the project at cost value and sell Jordan the same amount of water in the northern Jordan Valley at a cost of JD0.27 per cubic metre.
Phase one of the project is estimated to cost $900 million and involves building a conveyance system to transfer 300 million cubic meters (10.6 billion cubic feet) of water each year from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
The ministry said it would also see the construction of a desalination plant with a capacity of 65-85 million cubic meters a year, according to AFP.
The project is not without controversy. Environmentalists have warned that the project may cause irreversible damage to the coastal and mountain aquifers in both countries, and to the Dead Sea, which is danger of drying out.
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