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Disi-Mudawarra to Amman water transfer PPP, Jordan

We provided a group of bilateral and multilateral lenders with technical and environmental advisory services for a billion dollar water transfer project securing water supply to Amman.

Our regular presence, ability to understand the project's practical challenges and willingness to adopt a pragmatic approach to solving specific challenges allowed the contractor to create solutions to issues.

This PPP initiative included water abstraction and conveyance of up to 280,000 cu m/day from the Disi aquifer in southern Jordan to the city of Amman in northern Jordan through a 314 km long, 1600 mm diameter pipeline.

Key facts

  • As the lenders' independent engineer, we provided high level guidance to a consortium of lenders (including OPIC, EIB & Proparco/AFD) on the quality and status of the project throughout the design and construction process.

  • Services included engineering and design reviews, review of the works against agreed the programme and cost plan, as well as validation of progress milestones used to support loan disbursements.

  • A significant element of this role included evaluation of environmental and social performance against a construction environmental management plan developed to ensure that environmental and social impacts were managed within accepted international standards (in this case International Finance Corporation performance standards).

  • In addition to review of and feedback on key documentation, we also undertook environmental and social audits on a quarterly basis to monitor the implementation of the plan on the ground.

Challenges

  • During the implementation of the project, issues around the living and working conditions of site staff were highlighted. With workers from a diverse cultural background, the contractor faced significant challenges in educating staff and implementing good practice, particularly with reference to health and safety as well as environmental management issues.

  • The complex nature of this project and numerous project delivery stakeholders meant that engagement with all parties was necessary to understand the various challenges and drivers acting on the different players.

Solutions

  • A programme of construction labour audits was initiated. The resulting measures brought significant improvements to the living conditions of the workers on site. We also took opportunities to highlight good practice implemented by the contractor on site as a result of their international experience, providing a mechanism for encouraging strong performance as well as highlighting areas of weakness.

  • From our independent position we were able to advise the lenders on the substantive issues and support the development (by the key stakeholders) of appropriate management measures to mitigate environmental and social risks.

Value and benefits

Our regular presence, ability to understand the project's practical challenges and willingness to adopt a pragmatic approach to solving specific challenges allowed the contractor’s HSE team the space to create solutions to issues, whilst maintaining awareness of the need to manage the environmental and social issues effectively.

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