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Veolia Along With Hitachi Win Iraq Desalination Order for Basra

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Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Veolia Environnement SA, Europe’s largest water company, won a contract that will generate $115 million in sales for a desalination plant in Iraq.

Veolia will construct the plant over 30 months starting this quarter in partnership with Hitachi Ltd. and Egyptian engineering company ArabCo, it said in a statement. The Paris-based utility will operate the Basra installation for five years.

The plant with a capacity of 200,000 cubic meters of drinking water a day will include an ultrafiltration unit, reverse osmosis membranes and power generators, according to the statement.

Veolia Chief Executive Officer Antoine Frerot is expanding in higher-growth economies than Europe and industrial contracts in a bid to reduce reliance on French municipalities.

The Iraqi order follows another in Kuwait for a 123.6 million-dinar ($437 million) desalination plant at the Az Zour complex south of the capital. That plant will be able to produce 486,400 cubic meters a day for sale to Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water under a 40-year contract.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at