Drake & Scull subsidiary bags $84m contract to build waste water treatment plant in Jordan

The facility will be developed in the north-west city of Ar-Ramtha by a DSI subsidiary in consortium with a local Jordanian company

Farmer Abdel Abu Sayeh in the Jordan Valley. Treated waste water accounts for about a quarter of the water used for agricultural irrigation in Jordan. Photo: The National
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Dubai-based contractor Drake & Scull International has won a Dh307 million ($83.6 million) contract to build a waste water treatment plant in Jordan, a project aimed at helping to ease the country's water crisis.

The facility, which will be located in the north-west city of Ar-Ramtha, will be developed by a DSI subsidiary in consortium with a local Jordanian company, DSI said in a statement on Friday.

Jordan's government received bids from several major companies for the project, DSI said.

The treatment project in Jordan will be a “major milestone” for DSI, as it is the first such project the company has won in the region in a “long time”, it said.

“Winning this project is a great achievement in itself and a very important step moving forward, as it will ensure the company's continuity and enhance its presence within the construction market in the region,” DSI said.

“This is a testament to the reputation of quality and trust that the company has gained through more than 50 years of experience in this vital industry.”

Jordan is banking on treating waste water to increase the availability of the key resource.

The country operates 34 waste water treatment plants, which provide about 14 per cent of its total water supply. Treated waste water accounts for about a quarter of the total amount of water used for irrigation in Jordan's agriculture, latest data from the United Nations shows.

Jordan is the second most water scarce country in the world, according to the UN. Its annual renewable water resources are less than 100 cubic metres per person, significantly below the global threshold of severe water scarcity of 500 square metres per person, it said.

Amman in December said it plans to spend $2.3 billion over the next three years to improve infrastructure and living standards, with a series of projects including a new seawater desalination plant it hopes will curb its recurring water crisis.

Climate change, among other challenges, is projected to hit the country's limited water resources, which in turn will negatively impact agriculture, the UN said.

“As climate heats up, affecting Jordan’s already exhausted water resources, expanding wastewater treatment provides one opportunity to increase water availability for irrigation that consumes about one half of the country’s total water supply,” the UN said.

In April, DSI announced that it intended to write off 90 per cent of its debts and convert the remaining 10 per cent into mandatory convertible sukuk as part of a restructuring plan that has been approved by its creditors and shareholders.

The company obtained approval from creditors who account for 67 per cent of the company's total debt value, exceeding the threshold needed for the restructuring plan under the UAE's Bankruptcy Law, DSI said at the time.

Updated: August 04, 2023, 11:11 AM