The Water Ministry/Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) and the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding to provide the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project (Red-Dead) with power for water desalination and pumping.

JVA Secretary General Saad Abu Hammour and NEPCO Director General Abdel Fattah Daradkeh signed the memo, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Daradkeh said the memo aims at supplying the Red-Dead project with around 70 megawatts annually and to generate electricity also through establishing stations along the trail of the conveyance line, connecting them to the national grid.

Abu Hammour noted that the arrangement will reduce the Red-Dead project’s energy cost, stressing that electricity will be provided at “preferential prices”.

The government has raised approximately $400 million from donor countries and agencies to finance the first phase of the project.

The funds were pledged during a high-profile conference held in late 2016 in the form of grants, soft loans and in-kind assistance, a Water Ministry official said in previous remarks to The Jordan Times.

Authorities have already shortlisted five consortiums out of 17 that have shown interest in implementing the first stage of the Red-Dead project on a build, operate and transfer basis.

Under the first phase, a total of 300 million cubic metres (mcm) of water will be pumped each year. Eventually, up to 2 billion cubic metres of seawater will be transferred from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea annually, according to the ministry.

A total of 85-100mcm of water will be desalinated every year, while the seawater will be pumped out from an intake located in the north of the Gulf of Aqaba.

In addition, a conveyor will be extended to transfer desalinated water as well as a pipeline to dump the brine into the Dead Sea to stop its constant decline, estimated at one metre every year.

The Kingdom will receive an additional 50mcm of water from the Lake Tiberias Reservoir annually to be added to its share from the desalination station to provide Aqaba with water, according to the ministry.

Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel and Palestine in December 2013 to implement the first phase of the project.

Palestine will receive 30mcm of freshwater to cover its water deficit, according to the memo, while Israel will buy its share of 50mcm of desalinated water from the project at cost value and sell Jordan the same amount of water in the northern Jordan Valley at a cost of JD0.27 per cubic metre.