by Hana Namrouqa | Mar 31, 2013

AMMAN — The Millennium Challenge Account-Jordan (MCA-Jordan) on Sunday said it will float the first of six tenders to restructure and rehabilitate the water network in the heavily populated and industrialised Zarqa Governorate on Monday.

The $108-million (around JD76.5 million) water network project is designed to decrease water loss and increase the amount of water delivered to subscribers, MCA-Jordan CEO Kamal Zoubi said on Sunday.

“The first tender for restructuring primary and secondary pipes in Zarqa and Ruseifa will be floated tomorrow. The following four tenders for restructuring tertiary pipes will be floated in May and June,” Zoubi noted.

He said at a press conference that the sixth tender for establishing a reservoir and a pumping station in Ruseifa will be floated in September.

The tenders for the water network project were arranged into six after MCA-Jordan in September last year rejected all bids received to restructure and rehabilitate the water network in Zarqa.

Zoubi said that the bids were cancelled because the offered prices exceeded the allocated money in the grant’s budget, which was provided by the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

“The tenders will be floated in conventional construction packages instead of the previous design-build packages,” Zoubi said, noting that the step will give Jordanian contractors a better chance to compete.

The water network project is part of the $275-million Millennium Challenge Compact between the US and Jordan, which is designed to further economic growth through expanded access to clean water and sanitation, according to an MCA-Jordan statement.

Over one million people live in Zarqa, 22km east of Amman. The MCC grant was fully allocated to the governorate, which hosts over 50 per cent of the country’s industries, because it lacks sufficient water resources and adequate wastewater services, according to officials.

“The project will increase water flow from 62 to 89 litres per capita per day and reduce non-revenue water loss from over 50 per cent to 35 per cent by 2016,” Zoubi said.

MCA-Jordan is also implementing two projects in Zarqa, including the wastewater network project, which is designed to extend modern sewage networks to urban areas, and the Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project.

The expansion project seeks to increase the plant’s capacity to treat almost all of the wastewater generated in Amman and Zarqa, thus increasing the amounts of treated water which can be used for irrigation of crops in the Jordan Valley.

“Both projects are progressing well,” Zoubi said.

He emphasised that the MCA-Jordan projects will restructure the water supply system in Zarqa from periodic distribution under high pressure to more frequent, gravity-fed distribution.

“Around 95 per cent of the tertiary water pipes in Zarqa, where the project is being implemented, need replacement…,” Zoubi said.

The water network project’s infrastructure work will take around two-and-a-half years to be completed while the remaining years of the compact will be to ensure no defects, he said.

“Construction on the project is expected to commence within three months… the project is scheduled to be completed early in 2016,” he told The Jordan Times.

MCA-Jordan was established in 2010 as a company fully owned by the government to manage and implement the MCC-funded programme.