The European Union (EU) has pledged over €200 million towards Jordan’s delayed $3 billion Aqaba Amman Water Desalination and Conveyance Project (Aqaba Water).

This is part of the larger €902 million EU assistance package for Jordan announced on Tuesday during the King’s visit to Brussels. This includes a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan of €400 million under discussion for water projects nation-wide to reduce water losses and improve sustainability of water supply in Jordan.

The EIB will provide €100 million as concessional loans and €50 million in grants and facilitate an additional €47 million EU contribution for the Aqaba Water project.

This follows a $2.2 billion funding raised for the project in December 2022.

A tender was floated in 2020 and five finalists were qualified to submit bids for a 30-year concession in September 2021, the UAE-based English language newspaper The National reported in May 2023.

The bid submission deadline was repeatedly pushed forward, as the government sought more foreign aid for the project and the finalists asked for more technical and financial details, according to the report.

The project will desalinate water from the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba in the south and transport it 450 kilometres north to the water-scare capital Amman and its surrounding area, supplying 300 million cubic metres of water a year.  The project is expected to be operational in 2027.

(Writing by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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