Times of Oman
Nov 30, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 01:36 AM GMT
New projects to curb water supply hiccups
December 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM
These projects will be very helpful in coping with emergencies like the one which happened in Muscat last week.

Muscat: Disruption in water supply because of a breakdown in primary water distribution network, or a major water supply shortfall, will become a thing of the past as Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) is implementing a large number of projects to curb such situations in the future.

The projects include a desalination plant with a daily treatment capacity of 190,000 m3 in Al Ghubrah, which will be using reverse osmosis technology and will be ready by September 2014.

"Besides this, we will also construct a 35-km long water transmission pipeline from Al Ghubrah water desalination plant to Muscat water reservoir from where it will be distributed to six emergency water reservoirs which are coming up at Qurum, Ruwi, Wadi al Kabir and Wattayah," a senior official of PAEW said on Monday.

So, in case of a breakdown in the primary water distribution network, as it happened in Muscat last week following a pipe burst in Al Khuwair, this project would  provide a second source of supply. The project for desalination plant has been awarded to Sumitomo Corporation, Japan and water from the plant will be distributed to 800,000 people in Muscat.

The project work involves designing, building, owning, financing, operating, and maintaining a desalination plant with a capacity of 42 million gallons per day.

The new desalination plant will employ seawater reverse-osmosis technology to convert seawater into potable water and meet the growing demand for fresh water.

Desalination plant

Speaking to Times of Oman, a senior official of Sumitomo Corporation from Tokyo said they are targeting commencement of construction of the desalination plant in early 2013, which will come to an end by September 2014.

"Under this project, a desalination plant with a daily treatment capacity of 190,000 m3 will be constructed. Being a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) project, the constructed facilities will be operated and maintained for the next 20 years. The project is expected to cost approximately 30billion Yen in total and is planned to be funded by Japanese financial
institutions," the official added.

Besides this, Gulf Petrochemical Services and Contracting Company (GPS) is currently executing a large water transmission pipeline from Al Ghubrah Water Desalination Plant to Muscat water reservoir for PAEW. For this, they were awarded an RO30.7 million contract about a month back. With contract duration of over two years, the large diameter pipeline will be able to feed water to the Muscat water reservoir from Al Ghubrah plant in the first half of 2015.

"Micro-tunneling technology will be applied for several parts of this 35-km long pipeline which runs through some of the most difficult terrains of Muscat," Alex Valloor, Business Development Manager, Gulf Petrochemical Services & Trading LLC, said.

Micro-tunneling is a trenchless pipeline construction technology used to construct pipelines of large diameter with fewer disturbances to public, as compared to the open cut method.

"This pipeline is a key infrastructure support for Muscat's growing water needs," Alex added.
In yet another development, PAEW is constructing Emergency Water Storage Reservoirs Project in Muscat.

"Under this, six emergency water reservoirs will come up at Qurum, Ruwi, Al Wadi al Kabir and Wattayah," a senior official of PAEW said.

While Qurum will host the biggest of the reservoirs with a storage capacity of 73,000 cubic metres (approx), Ruwi will have one reservoir with a capacity of 25,000 cubic metres.

"There will be two reservoirs in Wadi Kabir, while one reservoir will also be constructed at Wattayah with a capacity of around 15,000 cubic metres," the senior PAEW official added.

Officials said that all these projects will be very helpful in emergencies like the one which happened last week. "There will be an alternative," the official added.

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