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As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), Jordan




Key Data


USAID provided $78m

As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is the largest wastewater treatment facility in Jordan. The plant was built to replace the old and overloaded As-Samra Wastewater Stabilisation Ponds (WSP).

Construction of the As-Samra WWTP was undertaken during a period of five years from 2003 to August 2008, at a cost of $169m.

The facility is acknowledged for being the first project in Jordan to be built under a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis and the first to receive a grant from USAID.

With a peak flow of 840,000 cubic metres each day, the facility treats an average flow of 267,000 cubic metres of wastewater on a daily basis, serving a population of about 2.2 million living in the Greater Amman and Zarqa areas.

Purpose of Jordan's water project

As-Samra WWTP was built to improve the quality of water in Jordan. It treats wastewater released from the Zerqa river basin, which is part of the two populated cities of Greater Amman and Zerqa.

Zerqa river drains most of its polluted water into the King Talal Dam, which provides irrigation water for the Jordan Valley, causing significant environmental and health concerns.

The construction of As-Samra WWTP relieved most parts of Jordan by providing safe reuse of water for irrigation. It also eliminated the odours that were being released from the former WSP.

As-Samra project history

"Construction of the As-Samra WWTP was undertaken during a period of five years from 2003 to August 2008, at a cost of $169m."

Jordan prepared a long term plan to treat wastewater in 1982. The Kingdom had only a few sanitary sewers and just one wastewater treatment plant in Amman prior to that. The long term plan, in its initial phase, saw the construction of the As-Samra WSP in 1985.

Pre-treated water from Ain Ghazal Pre-Treatment Plant, the West Zarqa Pumping Station and the Hashimiyya Pumping Station was being supplied to the WSP.

The WSP was overloaded very quickly and its effluents were not able to meet the Jordanian domestic wastewater discharge standards. The effluents caused major environmental and health concerns when the water was used for irrigation or discharged into rivers and other water bodies.

With USAID's funding in 1997, efforts were made to study the possibility of constructing the As-Samra WWTP at the same site of the As-Samra WSP.

The search for financiers to implement the project began in 1998 and was completed in 2002. Construction of the WWTP began in 2003 and was completed in 2008.

Details and components of the WWTP

As-Samra WWTP consists of a primary settling tank, eight aeration tanks and eight secondary settling tanks, four anaerobic sludge digesters, biogas and hydro-powered generators, and an odour control system.

The aeration tanks, secondary settling tanks and anaerobic sludge digesters tanks are all prestressed with the DYWIDAG Strand Tendons.

The WWTP receives 80% of its electricity needs through the combination of hydraulic turbines and gas turbines powered by digestion biogas. The remaining 20% comes from the national grid.

Expansion of As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant

An expansion of the facility began in 2012 and is expected to be completed by 2016. It will increase the plant's average treatment capacity to 365,000 cubic metres each day. It is being implemented along with the Wastewater Network Project of the Jordan Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI).

"The construction of As-Samra WWTP relieved most parts of Jordan by providing safe reuse of water for irrigation."

The expansion will include addition of two more treatment lines to the existing four treatment lines. The capacity of the existing sludge line will also be increased by 80%.

A new mechanical dewatering system will be added to the overall sludge treatment system.

The expansion will also perform post-drying of the solar drying beds that are spread across an area of 50 acres within the project site.

Financing and key players involved

USAID provided $78m for the construction of the As-Samra WWTP. The Jordanian Government provided $14m. A consortium of banks led by The Arab Bank granted a loan of $60m for the project. The Samra Plant Company (SPC), which is comprised of Suez Environment, Ondeo Services, Ondeo-Degremont and Morganti, arranged and provided $17m.

"The WWTP receives 80% of its electricity needs through the combination of hydraulic turbines and gas turbines."

The BOT contract comprised of the design, construction, financing and operation of the plant for 22 years. Engicon participated in the project by rendering construction supervision and assisting SPC with other works.

United Corrosion Technologies supplied glass reinforced plastic (GRP) handrail systems, covered grating systems, ladder systems and support systems for the plant.

Financing during the first 18 months of the preparatory phase of commissioning was provided by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

The contract value for the expansion phase amounts to $184.3m. The Jordan Ministry of Water and Irrigation has awarded the contract to Degremont and Morganti, on behalf of the Jordanian Government. The contract's duration includes three years of construction and 22 years of operation.

Millennium Challenge Corporation, based in the US, will provide $93m for the expansion, while the rest of the funding will be provided by SPC and a consortium of banks led by the Arab Bank.


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As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest wastewater treatment facility in Jordan.
The plant has a peak flow rate of 840,000 cubic metres a day.
The As-Samra plant was built between 2003 and 2008.
Aeration tanks, secondary settling tanks and anaerobic sludge tanks are prestressed.