Norwegian Company Waterise Signs Agreement

Water-scarce Jordan is set to receive a much-needed boost in its fight against drought. Norwegian desalination company Waterise signed a significant deal with Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), the country's sole producer of phosphate, to construct and operate a desalination plant near the Red Sea city of Aqaba.

The agreement marks a positive step towards alleviating Jordan's chronic water shortage. The plant, planned for construction near Aqaba, aims to produce a substantial 18 million cubic meters of desalinated water annually. This desalinated water will be directed towards JPMC's main fertilizer plant, a significant consumer of water in industrial processes.

This collaboration between Waterise and JPMC comes amidst Jordan's struggles with a larger desalination project. The construction of a much larger desalination plant with a capacity of 300 million cubic meters per year, slated for Aqaba as well, has faced numerous setbacks. Delays in this project are primarily attributed to concerns from international financiers regarding Jordan's water loss problem. These financiers have insisted on a significant reduction in water loss before approving the project. Additionally, potential bidders have expressed doubts regarding the project's profitability.

Against this backdrop, the agreement between Waterise and JPMC offers a more manageable solution. The smaller scale of the project and its focus on industrial water needs could expedite construction and bypass the complexities hindering the larger project. This targeted approach could prove beneficial for both parties. Waterise gains a foothold in the Jordanian market, while JPMC secures a reliable source of desalinated water for its core operations.

Furthermore, the success of this project could pave the way for future collaborations between Waterise and Jordan. If the Aqaba plant functions efficiently, it could serve as a springboard for Waterise to participate in larger desalination projects in the country. Jordan, for its part, would benefit from the expertise and technology that Waterise brings to the table.

The agreement between Waterise and JPMC is a positive development for Jordan's water security. While challenges remain, this targeted desalination project offers a promising step towards a more water-secure future for the kingdom.

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