PARIS — Veolia has been awarded a contract from the Iraqi Ministry for Municipalities and Public Works to build and operate a desalination plant in Basra, Iraq for five years, according to press release on The Wall Street Journal.

The contract is worth $115 million, noted the release, and will require Veolia to build and operate a desalination plant with an ultrafiltration unit and reverse osmosis membranes, in partnership with Japanese conglomerate Hitachi and Egyptian engineering firm ArabCo.

Read more on reverse osmosis here.

Water in Southern Iraq is limited and mainly sourced from the Euphrates and Persian Gulf, where the salt content is high, the release reported; the new plant will reduce the salt content in the drinking water for some 2.3 million people.

According to the release, construction work is set to begin in the first quarter of 2014 and be completed within 30 months.

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"This plant is part of a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate and extend the city's water treatment plants. The innovative technology and solutions we are providing Basra will enable it to improve its citizens' access to quality drinking water while protecting its resources," explains Jean-Michel Herrewyn, director, global enterprises, Veolia Environnement.

Read the full release here.