Al Kufra-Tazerbo Water Transmission System Is Becoming A Reality
The biggest man-made waterway of the world
Tekfen Construction has commenced the works on Al Kufra-Tazerbo line of “Great Man Made River” project that will bring water to the people of Libya. Participation of Tekfen was realized in 2006 in the project targeting the transmission of water extracted from internal desert parts of the country to the Mediterranean coastline between Benghazi and Tripoli. The agreement as to the section between Al Kufra-Tazerbo to be constructed by Tekfen was signed on 6 June 2006, between Libyan officials and Umit Ozdemir, Vice Chairman of Tekfen Holding responsible for Contracting Group on behalf of Tekfen Construction-TML Joint Venture.
“Great Man Made River” is one of the most comprehensive engineering projects of the world. The project targets to transmit ground waters formed during the ice age at the Sahara Desert to the metropolitan areas on the Mediterranean coast by pipelines, to be used in daily life and agriculture.
The section Tekfen-TML partnership has undertaken consists of a 380-km long line. More than 51,000 giant pipes with a length of 7.5 meters, and 4-meter diameters weighing 72 tons each that will be laid in this line, will transmit the water obtained from the wells at Tazerbo to the consumption areas at Al Kufra.
A total of 1300 persons will be assigned to the project, which was actually brought to life in December 2006. The project is the biggest contracting work Turkish firms were awarded in Libya, with its USD 500 million value. Haul-road construction work, pumping stations, and leak tests will also be realized within the scope of the service that will be provided by Tekfen-TML. The project is planned to be completed by the end of 2011.
Work At The Desert
The completion of a 380 kilometer long water pipeline construction in challenging desert conditions with temperatures rising up to 65 degrees during the days, and with ice cold weather prevailing at nights will be a success story for those working for Tekfen as well as the company itself. Tekfen, which has always attached great importance to improving job safety and working conditions, continues its studies in order to provide the best conditions to the workers in such challenging circumstances.
The main camp of the pipeline project is located at Al Kufra. As this camp will constitute the last leg of the project, it works with a limited capacity at the moment. About 400 to 450 persons will be accommodated, on the other, hand at the camp established at Tazerbo. Foremen stay in double rooms, whereas the workers stay in 4-bed rooms. There are various table games and television available at the three clubhouses established at the camp to enable workers to enjoy their time outside of the work hours. Furthermore, beverages (alcohol free) are served free of charge throughout the day.
As the change in temperature is immense between day and night at the desert, the workers are advised to bring along both summer and winter clothes. The weather from December to March is just like the autumn season in Turkey, and the daytime temperatures are in the region of 20 degrees. Torrid heat starts during the summer months. It becomes absolutely necessary for the workers to wear long sleeves and hats in order protect themselves from the burning sunbeams. There is a doctor and an ambulance available at each camp site to ensure health controls.
Water From The Ice Age Will Bring Life To Libya
Miracle in the desert
Libya, which until recently tried to satisfy its water requirements from the limited ground water basins or desalination facilities at the Mediterranean coast, will be carrying water to the city from the desert with the “Great Man Made River” project. The freshwater obtained from water basins discovered at Sahara desert will also be extensively used in agriculture.
The water resources, found in the barren areas in the inner parts of the country, were first discovered during oil exploration in 1953. The research conducted established that the ground waters were mainly from the last ice age, 14,000-38,000 years ago. Al Kufra basin, alongside the Egyptian border of Libya on the southeast, covers an area of approximately 350,000 km2 and has a large water reserve at 2,000 meter depth.
A large living space is being constructed in the desert by Tekfen for the works that will be realized against all physical obstacles in an environment with sand storms, temperatures reaching 52 degrees in shade and 66 degrees on sand. Thousands of Tekfen workers, who will bring to life the project, will be accommodated at locations prepared by taking into consideration the necessary health and safety precautions.