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Sun 3 Jun 2007 02:24 PM

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Green light for AED1.5bn sewage plant

Phased introduction of more wastewater treatment capacity to come to Dubai over three years.

The Dubai Municipality has signed an agreement with Greek construction firm Aktor and local contractor Al Ahmadiah-Aktor to build a new sewage treatment plant in Jebel Ali.

The deal, worth AED 1.5 billion ($408.5 million), will see the construction of a 300 000 m³ per day wastewater treatment facility on a 675-hectare site south-east of Jebel Ali Free Zone. This will supplement the capacity of the existing treatment plant at Al Awir.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, acting director general of Dubai Municipality, said the contract constituted the first phase of the development, which has a projected capacity of 1.1 million m³ per day.

This capacity will be built up over a number of phases, which will be sized and programmed to suit the growth in wastewater flows produced by the ongoing and future developments of Dubai.

"Key to meeting future requirements is the flexibility to keep pace with the dramatic population growth anticipated for Dubai over the next 25 years," said Lootah.

"To this end, the new sewage treatment plant has been designed to incorporate sustainable reuse of both final effluent, through municipal and agricultural irrigation systems, and sludge as a soil conditioner or fertiliser."

Talib Abdulkareem Julfar, director of drainage at the Municipality, said he had been waiting a long time for the project to be given the go-ahead. He described it as a "challenging job" which would be completed within three years. A reduced stream with a capacity of 150 000 m³ per day is to be fast-tracked and commissioned by the middle of 2009.

Julfar said Aktor had offered competitive prices and fulfilled all the specifications, pointing out that it had carried out projects on a similar scale in Greece.