A consortium of private sector institutions led by the Social Security Corporation (SSC) will carry out the Disi water conveyance project with or without foreign funding, according to a senior government official.
Quoted by Al Arab Al Yawm daily on Sunday, the official said the SSC, which has deposits in local banks exceeding JD600 million, will form a private company in cooperation with Jordanian banks to implement the Disi water project.
According to the report, the consortium will conduct a feasibility study to determine the actual project cost.
Deputy Prime Minister Mohammad Halaiqa last week urged the private sector to undertake energy and water projects considered vital for the economy.
Halaiqa said the private sector can also participate in the Disi project which is to provide Amman with an additional 100 million cubic metres of water every year.
He said Jordan is moving ahead with the implementation of the long-awaited project and will not wait for Libyan or Iranian assistance in this scheme.
The official told the daily that the government would allocate funds in the state's annual budget, in case of a shortage of funding. The official said this would require the government to borrow from foreign sources.
He said several international financial institutions have expressed readiness to grant loans to Jordan to help carry out the Disi water project, including the European Investment Bank which offered a loan of 120 million euros at six per cent annual interest.
In the meantime, Minister of Water and Irrigation Hatem Halawani said on Sunday that the water deficit in Jordan is increasing, predicting that the annual water deficit will by the year 2010 reach 250 million cubic meters annually.
Addressing the opening session of a workshop on water loss due to technical faults and pipe leakage, the minister said water loss is estimated at 50 percent, which he said is a serious and worrying problem for a country suffering from water scarcity.
Halawani said the ongoing replacement of the Amman water network will cost $220 million, but it will help save water and reduce the losses to 15 percent by the year 2020.
( Jordan Times )
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