Iraq Water Desalination Works in Basra Go to Veolia, Hitachi

An Iraq desalination project to supply 400,000 people in the southern city of Basra with drinking water has been enlarged with added works for Veolia Environnement, Hitachi Ltd. and Egypt engineering firm ArabCo.

The additional order from the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works to the group is for engineering, procurement and construction of pre-treatment facilities, river intake and water transport works that will total 24 billion yen ($223 million), Paris-based Veolia said today. Construction is to begin this month with completion expected by April 2017.

The pretreatment works follow an order in January to design and build the desalination plant, operate and maintain it for five years. The reverse-osmosis plant to reduce the salt content in water drawn from a river near the river’s mouth will be the largest facility of its kind in Iraq, capable of supplying 199,000 cubic meters of potable water a day.

“This plant, which combines pretreatment, high-level membrane-filtration and desalination, will significantly improve the quality of drinking water provided to the city of Basra and will eliminate spikes in salinity caused by tides and winds,” Jean-Michel Herrewyn, Veolia’s senior executive vice president for global enterprises, said in a statement.

Veolia, based in Paris, is the largest water utility in Europe. Hitachi’s headquarters are in Tokyo. Construction of the facilities includes loan assistance from the Japanese government, the statement said.

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