Kuwait has moved a step closer to importing water by pipeline from Iran in a $2.5 billion project, a newspaper reported on Saturday, April 21. Electricity and Water Minister Talal al-Ayyar, quoted in Al-Qabas, said his ministry had approved the project and was now awaiting a green light from the cabinet to initiate formal negotiations with Iran.
The ministry has approved technical aspects of the project, he said. The plan was technically feasible but financial terms remain to be discussed to determine the economic feasibility. An Iranian-British-Kuwaiti consortium is in the running for the project to pump fresh water to Kuwaits Bubiyan island and lessen reliance on the emirate's costly desalination plants.
Britain's Gulf Utilities Co. (GUC) said in February it was close to securing an agreement with Kuwait to build the pipeline. The project would offer "significant economic, environmental and conservation benefits to the Kuwaitis," the company said, adding that it would be due for completion in 2005. The pipeline would transport water through Iran from the Karkeh Dam and under the northern Gulf to Kuwait, GUC said. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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