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    Turkish firm invests big in Jordan

    Hurriyet Daily News
    09.07.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey’s Gama Energy completed the initial financing of a 325-kilometer-long pipeline project that aims to end water scarcity in Amman, Jordan’s capital. Gama Enerji, a partnership between Turkey’s Gama Holding and General Electric Energy Financial Services, is undertaking the $1-billion project, according to a press statement Wednesday.

    The United States’ Overseas Private Investment Corporation, European Investment Bank and Proparco of France are providing $445 million in credit financing for the project. On top of this figure, Jordan’s Water and Irrigation Ministry is granting $300 million. Gama Energy will complete the financing by putting $190 million as equity capital.

    The first payment of the financing was conducted Wednesday, according to the e-mailed statement.

    Arif Özozan, general manager of Gama Energy, said the firm is happy to help Jordan solve its water problems. "In the midst of the global recession, we are proud to have received the vote of confidence from the financial community in this $1 billion project," Özozan said.

    The project foresees pumping water from sources in the Mudavarra region to Amman. Gama Enerji will construct the 325-kilometer-long pipeline, providing employment for thousands. "The project will also contribute to peace," the statement said, reminding that water scarcity is a frequent source of tension in the region.

    "Gama is also acquiring a strong anchor for infrastructure development with this project," said Hakan Özman, member of the Gama Holding board. "Gama Energy’s growth platform is becoming more valuable."

    Strategic investment

    The "Disi Water Delivery Project," as it is called, is seen as a strategic investment by the Jordanian state. When the project is completed, more than 100 million cubic meters of water will be delivered to the capital and its surrounding region.

    The Disi project is also the biggest water delivery project in the region that is financed by the private sector.

    Credit deals related to Disi were signed May 17 between Jordan’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation and France’s

    Agence Française de Développement. Jordan had signed a concession agreement with Gama in 2007. The project will be operated by Gama Energy for 25 years and then will be transferred to the state.

    The construction of the project is expected to start this month and may last for four years. Gama will use 250,000 tons of steel and open 55 wells in the area. The operating and maintenance services for the pipeline will be provided by Disi Amman Operation and Maintenance LCC, a Jordanian company formed for this project.

    Jordan has one of the lowest per capita water consumption rates in the world. According to the existing regulations, citizens in Amman can receive water only once a week. The country’s annual consumption stands at 900 million cubic meters, but projections show that starting from 2015, the country will need 1.6 billion cubic meters each year. The Disi project will provide 6 percent of this amount.

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