By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – Two hundred kilometres of pipes for the Disi Water Conveyance Project have been delivered to the Kingdom, with the project set to be completed by its 2013 deadline, a government source said on Thursday.

With the most recent shipment of pipes from Turkey, which arrived earlier this month, an additional 150 kilometres of piping is left for the mega-project, designed to convey water from the south to Amman in order to alleviate water scarcity in the capital.

A source at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said that despite recent delays, the project is “back on track” and is expected to be completed by its 2013 deadline.

“The project is on track and work to lay down pipes and drill wells in the southern Disi aquifer are progressing,” the source told The Jordan Times over the phone on Thursday.

Authorities initially reported delays in construction, which the source attributed to the relocation and reconstruction of roads, electricity and communication lines along the stretch between Amman and the Madaba bridge.

He indicated that once the Amman-Madaba bridge section is completed, the pace of construction will accelerate.

The mega-project, which entails supplying Amman with 107 million cubic metres of water annually, is being carried out on a build-operate-transfer basis by Turkish company GAMA.

The project entails the construction of a 325-kilometre pipeline to convey water from the ancient Disi aquifer in southern Jordan to Amman, passing through several water stations in Maan, Tafileh, Karak and Madaba.

The project went into effect in June 2009 after the financial closure was signed. The government’s equity in the project stands at $400 million, $100 million of which is allocated as “standby” funding, to be used if international prices of construction materials, including steel, increase. The European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency have extended two $100 million soft loans to the government for the project.

The price of one cubic metre of water generated by the project is estimated at JD0.74.

Water officials have described the Disi project as “Jordan’s first step towards achieving water security”.