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Oman’s second biggest water project launched


A huge water desalination plant, with a production capacity of around 250,000 cubic metres (m3) per day, has been brought into operation at Sohar Port.

The Suhar-4 Independent Water Project (IWP), built with an investment of around $220 million, reinforces Suhar’s importance as Oman’s biggest seawater desalination hub designed to meet the escalating potable water requirements of vast swathes of the Batinah and other grid-connected parts of north Oman.

Last week, Spanish water giant Sacyr — the lead investor in the Suhar-4 IWP — said the reverse osmosis (RO) based desalination plant, located within Sohar Port, is now fully operational.

Sacyr affiliate Sacyr Agua has a 51 per cent stake in the consortium selected by Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) — the sole buyer of power and water output — to design, construct, own, finance, operate and maintain the project against a 20-year offtake agreement. Oman Brunei Investment Company (25 per cent) and Sogex Oman (24 per cent) are also consortium members.

Significantly, the project is the biggest water desalination plant after Barka IV — a 281,000 m3/day capacity Independent Water Project (IWP) that came into operation at Barka in July 2018. Barka IV was set up by Barka Desalination Company, a consortium made up of Itochu Corporation, ENGIE, SUEZ, and Towell Engineering, under a 20-year Water Purchase Agreement with OPWP.

Sacyr, ranked as the eighth largest water treatment company in the world, said Suhar-4 IWP is equipped with a high degree of automation designed to enable potable water production to suit the requirements of the Public Authority for Water (PAW), the operator of the water distribution system in the Sultanate.

“The plant has 11 reverse-osmosis membrane frames, which allow adjusting production to the needs for potable water. Preventive maintenance that does not involve any stoppage at the plant can be carried out simultaneously,” Sacyr said in a press statement.

“The revenue backlog for this project totals 1 billion euros over the 20 years of operation established,” it stated, adding that an estimated 220,000 people will be served by the IWP.

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