Dubai: The emirate of Dubai will get a new deep tunnel sewerage system costing Dh12.5 billion in the next five years to replace more than 121 sewage pumping stations.
The new deep tunnel system makes use of gravity for the collection of sewage, Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality said.
According to him, it will significantly reduce the running-cost of the sewage system, as it will replace the pumping stations that required electricity to run and periodic maintenance. The project will help in turning Dubai into a sustainable and environment-friendly city. The tunnels will also help reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent.
Following the approval of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to implement the new project, Dubai Municiplaity signed a contract awarding Parsons Corporation the project on Sunday.
Lootah said the first phases of the project will be ready in five years, while the entire project is expected to be handed over in seven years.
“This plan is 50 years ahead, and will be able to accommodate any future growth in Dubai. Due to its large size, it is also very easy to connect any new projects to it. ” he said, adding that this unique system has been implemented in many big cities in the world.
The tunnel system will replace more than 121 sewage pumping stations with deep tunnels that will range between 25-90 metres below the earth’s surface.
“Imagine a 90 metre tunnel, that is almost the size of a 30-floor building,” he said.
The total combined length of the tunnels will be more than 70km, supported by approximately 140km of link sewers and key pumping stations.
The project will be rolled out in two-phases: the first phase will include two tunnels — one in Deira and the other in Bur Dubai — that will both drain sewage to the sewage treatment plant in Al Warsan, and the second phase, which will be in Bur Dubai, will transfer sewage flow to the sewage treatment plant in Jebel Ali.
The digging, Lootah explained, will be done using the micro-tunnelling technique, and will not cause a lot of disruption.
In this technique, a shaft is dug and a ‘tunnel boring machine’, is inserted and it digs the tunnels under the surface, without the need to close down roads for digging works.
Dh12.5 billion is the expected cost of designing, implementing and operating the project over the next 35 years.
“According to our cost-analysis studies we believe the cost of this project will be recovered in 20 years. Dubai’s infrastructure need to be of high quality,” he said.
He added that this system’s implementation would pave the way for urban development projects.
This project, he said, will save millions of dirhams that were annually spent by the government on operating and providing maintenance works for ageing infrastructure.
Lootah signed the contract on behalf of the municipality, while Jafar Halawi, First Deputy Director of Parsons and Parsons’ Director in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for industrial projects signed on behalf of the company.
The services provided by Parsons include feasibility studies, preliminary design, preparation of the initial public offering, project management in the detailed design stages, as well as the implementation and supervision of the implementation of the tunnels and the lift station.
Halawi said, “we are glad to work on this key project and we are committed to providing the best solutions and successful ways of implementation.”