ITOCHU to Sign the Largest Seawater Desalination Contract in the Sultanate of Oman
March 2, 2016
Barka Desalination Company, whose largest shareholder is ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”), has agreed a contract with Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), a government entity of the Sultanate of Oman, to build and operate a new seawater desalination plant with a capacity of 281,000 m3 per day at Barka, located in the northern area of the Sultanate of Oman. Barka Desalination Company has been established for the purpose of this project in January 2016, and is led by ITOCHU, with its partners SUEZ, ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez) and W.J. Towell & Co.(a local partner). The total project cost is approximately $300M. This BOO (Build, Own and Operate) project provides for the construction and the operation for 20 years of a reverse osmosis desalination plant with surrounding facilities, which will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Sultanate. The plant will start supplying drinking water on 1 April 2018.
Like many other Gulf States, the Sultanate of Oman has been trying to meet the increased demands of potable water, while water demand in the Sultanate is expected to rise by around 6% per annum due to population growth and urbanisation. This project has been sought under the challenge of such scarcity of water resources, and will take a significant role in assured water supply to the Sultanate. ITOCHU sees water business as one of the promising business areas in light of soaring water demand arising from rapid worldwide population growth, economic development, global warming etc., and has been proactively expanding its activities into seawater desalination, water and sewage utilities, and other water businesses. We are keen to further promote projects that contribute to effective utilisation of water resources in Middle East area and other regions worldwide.