Jordan wants Chinese help for Dead Sea canal plan

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BEIJING, Nov 2 (Reuters) Jordan would like China's help in building a planned canal from the Red Sea to top up falling water levels in the Dead Sea, a Jordanian official said today.

The Dead Sea, the lowest point on the Earth's surface, has been shrinking because of increased use of water upstream from the Jordan River, the Dead Sea's main source.

Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians agreed in December to proceed with a feasibility study of the BEIJING, Nov 2 (Reuters) Jordan would like China's help in building a planned canal from the Red Sea to top up falling water levels in the Dead Sea, a Jordanian official said today.

The Dead Sea, the lowest point on the Earth's surface, has been shrinking because of increased use of water upstream from the Jordan River, the Dead Sea's main source.

Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians agreed in December to proceed with a feasibility study of the $2-$4 billion project.

''Chinese companies have the capability to implement such a big project,'' Maen Nsour, Chief Executive Officer of the Jordan Investment Board, told a news conference in Beijing. ''They have the potential to help build the waterway from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.'' He did not elaborate.

France, the United States, the Netherlands and Japan have so far signalled their willingness to contribute to the cost of the two-year study.

Nsour was speaking after a visit to China by Jordan's King Abdullah during which Beijing agreed to help develop nuclear power projects in the Middle Eastern country.

But Nsour said China could also help oil-poor Jordan with alternative energy, like wind and solar.

''China has the technology and know-how,'' he added.

REUTERS SZ PM1410 - billion project.

''Chinese companies have the capability to implement such a big project,'' Maen Nsour, Chief Executive Officer of the Jordan Investment Board, told a news conference in Beijing. ''They have the potential to help build the waterway from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.'' He did not elaborate.

France, the United States, the Netherlands and Japan have so far signalled their willingness to contribute to the cost of the two-year study.

Nsour was speaking after a visit to China by Jordan's King Abdullah during which Beijing agreed to help develop nuclear power projects in the Middle Eastern country.

But Nsour said China could also help oil-poor Jordan with alternative energy, like wind and solar.

''China has the technology and know-how,'' he added.

REUTERS SZ PM1410

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