OPWP selects Barka Desalination Company to build $300m desalination plant


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Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP) has appointed Barka Desalination Company to build, operate and finance a new seawater desalination plant in Barka.

Barka Desalination Company is a consortium led by Japan's ITOCHU.

With a capacity of 281,000m³ per day, the $300m plant will supply safe water in Oman's northern region. It will use reserve osmosis as water purification technology, and will provide an additional 62 million gallons of potable water in the region every day once complete.

The consortium is based on a public-private partnership working on build, own, operate (BOO) basis.

Other companies included in the consortium are Towell Engineering, Suez and Engie, reported Times of Oman.

Designed to be the largest reverse osmosis (RO) desalination facility in Oman, the plant is scheduled to supply drinking water to the Sultanate's residents by 1 April 2018.

Suez is in charge of plant construction and is contracted to operate it for 20 years.

"It will positively contribute to the security of water supply in the country."

The turbid and algae-rich waters of the Gulf of Oman will be pre-treated through Degremont technology and treatment processes such as Seadaf and Aquazur to ensure supply of high-quality drinking water.

OPWP CEO Ahmed bin Saleh Al Jahdhami was quoted by Times of Oman as saying: "The project is the largest desalinated water capacity ever procured in the Sultanate.

"As such, it will be a vital addition to the main system and will positively contribute to the security of water supply in the country.

"The project is anticipated to create jobs for nationals and opportunities for business owners, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs)."

This desalination plant is the second facility to be built in Oman by Suez, with the first being the Barka II station.

Inaugurated in 2009, the first desalination plant had the capacity of treating 120,000m³ each day.


Image: The Barka desalination plant will use reserve osmosis to purify water in Oman. Photo: courtesy of Español/Wikipedia.