Press release 11/02/1998 00:00 CET

A Kvaerner Construction led consortium is to design and construct the largest pumping station on the African continent. This £266 million project will irrigate half a million acres of reclaimed farm land in the Western Desert of Egypt Other partners in the Egyptian European Japanese Consortium (EEJC) are Hitachi of Japan and Arabian International Construction of Egypt.

The contract was won in international competition against seven other bids and work on site is due to begin shortly for completion in 2002. It marks a major step forward in the progress of the South Valley Development Project, an agricultural initiative inaugurated by President Mubarak in January last year.

The 21 pump facility will lift up to 334 cubic metres of water per second from Lake Nasser and pump it into the Sheik Zayed canal, now under construction in Upper Egypt. When complete, the 310 km canal will supply up to 5.5 billion cubic metres of irrigation water a year to the South Valley Development Project.

The decision of the tender committee to award this lump sum turnkey contract to EEJC has been ratified by His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Abou Zeid, Minister of Public Works and Water Resources and a letter of intent was signed on 9th February by Abdel Latif Askar, Head of the Mechanical and Electrical Department of the Ministry.

Commenting on the award, Brian Devenish, managing director of Kvaerner Construction International said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract. This is the second major project we have won in Egypt recently and demonstrates the importance of this market to the continued development of our international business".

Project details

The electrically driven pumping station will lift water through a static head of up to 54 metres, from an inlet on the western shore of Lake Nasser to a discharge basin at the head of the Sheik Zayed canal. Power will be supplied by overhead lines - to be built under a separate contract - from generators at the Aswan Dam some 350 km away.

A major feature of the pumping station contract will be the construction of a 40 metre deep dredged channel. This will ensure that the depth of water at the pump inlets is maintained at sufficient level to ensure the station operates at maximum efficiency.

A custom-designed cutter suction dredger will be used for the task. It will be imported by road in sections to the remote lakeside location, near the town of Abu Simbel, and assembled on site.

Before dredging work starts, exploratory boreholes will be sunk along the route of the channel and pump station location, to verify the hardness and condition of the sandstone lake bed.

"Carving out a deep channel in sandstone has never been done before at an inland location and in such a depth of water," said Eddie McEwan, Kvaerner Construction’s Project Director at the company’s office in Cairo. "We are looking forward to this engineering challenge which we are confident of meeting successfully."

The pumping station, with its three ancillary workshops and electrical laboratory, has been designed by a joint venture between Lahmeyer International of Frankfurt and Hamza Associates of Egypt.


For further information contact:

Tanya Barnes, PR Officer - 01923 423 905Cheryl Eaton, PR Manager - 01923 423 030