Red-Dead project in the Middle East will include hydropower

On Dec. 3, the government of Jordan announced it has raised about US$400 to finance the first phase of the US$10 billion Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project (Red-Dead).

According to the Palestinian Authority, the multinational proposal is to build a 180 km pipeline engineered to carry up to two billion cubic meters (cm) of seawater per year from the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea through Jordanian territory to the Red Sea.

In a statement, the Water Ministry indicated that construction on the project’s first phase, estimated to cost $1.1 billion, is scheduled to begin in early 2018 and be completed by 2020.

According to the World Bank, which gave its approval for the project, “The more than 400-meter difference in elevation between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea has long been enticing because of the gravity flow advantage and the considerable potential for hydropower generation.”

The planned hydroelectric plant would supply electricity to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Energy will also be needed for a desalination plant that would require 247 MW of power in 2020 and 556 MW in 2060.

U.S. Ambassador to Jordan, Alice G. Wells, on Dec. 2 announced the U.S. intends to contribute to the Red-Dead project.

A statement issued on Dec. 3 by the Water Ministry indicated the following:

  • The U.S. will contribute $100 million;
  • The European Union has pledged a grant worth 40 million euros and 120 million euros in a loan through the European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency;
  • Japan will provide pumps and equipment worth $20 million;
  • Italy will extend a grant worth 2 million euros and a loan worth 50 million euros; and
  • Spain will also support the project with a loan worth 50 million euros.

The Red-Dead project’s main components are a seawater intake structure; an intake pump station; a seawater pipeline; hydropower plants; a desalination plant with a capacity of 65-85 million cm per year; a desalination brine conveyance pipeline; two lifting pump stations; and discharge facilities at the Dead Sea.

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