4 February 2014
French utility Veolia Environnement has been awarded a contract to build and operate a desalination plant in Basra, Iraq.
Veolia will work in partnership with Japanese group Hitachi and Egyptian engineering firm ArabCo to build a plant capable of producing 200,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day with water from the Euphrates River, which has a high salt content, and from the Persian Gulf.
Last month Veolia won a contract to build a desalination plant in neighbouring Kuwait.
The project to supply water to 2.3 million people in the Basra area will bring Veolia $115m in revenue over the five-year contract period, the company said.
Jean-Michel Herrewyn, Veolia’s director of global enterprises
Construction is due to start in the first quarter of 2014 and should be completed within 30 months.
The contract was awarded by the Iraqi Ministry for Municipalities and Public Works and is part of plans to modernise basic services in the country.
"This plant is part of a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate and extend the city’s water treatment plants," said Jean-Michel Herrewyn, Veolia’s director of global enterprises.
"The innovative technology and solutions we are providing Basra will enable it to improve its citizens’ access to quality drinking water while protecting its resources."