Hitachi, Ltd. and Veolia Environnement have won a contract to build pretreatment facilities for a large-scale desalination plant in Basrah, Iraq.

The new plant will be the biggest facility of its kind in Iraq, capable of supplying 199,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day — that's enough to meet the needs of 400,000 people. It will use reverse osmosis to reduce the salt content in water drawn from a river where the salt concentration is high.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract includes pretreatment works, comprised of coagulation-sedimentation facilities, and surrounding infrastructure such as river water intake and water transport facilities.

Iraq's Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works awarded the contract to a consortium formed by Hitachi and Veolia, along with Egyptian engineering firm ArabCo. The total value of the project is about 24 billion yen ($222 million), of which Hitachi and Veolia will receive 10 billion yen ($92 million).

Hitachi and Veolia will be responsible for the design, delivery and test operation of mechanical and electrical facilities, while ArabCo will take charge of civil engineering, construction and on-site installation work.

Announcing the deal on Oct. 22, the companies said that construction is set to start this month and would be completed in April 2017.

At the start of this year the consortium was awarded a comprehensive order for EPC on the water desalination plant itself, as well as operation and maintenance for a period of five years.