This weekend saw another milestone in the ‘Century Project’, which will deliver fresh water from Mersin to the TRNC via an 80 kilometer long submarine pipeline.
The 26th pipe was put into the sea which means that 13 kilometres of pipes are now on the sea surface ready for placing.
A purpose built factory in the town of Silifke in Turkey is producing the pipes. There are two types of pipes being produced to withstand the differing pressures at 280 meters and even deeper. The pipes come in one continuous length of 500 metres each and weigh 190 tons.
A specialist ship required to do the pipe laying, will commence operations in August. Once placed in position, these pipes will withstand the sea for at least 50 years.
Alaköprü Dam is being specially constructed on Dragon Creek in the town of Anamur, in the Turkish province of Myrtle, to provide a reservoir to source the water. The dam is on schedule and is almost 70% complete. It should be finished in approximately a year. Nearly 8 thousand hectares of land will be flooded due to this project, that is nearly 20,000 acres.
The height of the dam will be 99 metres and current construction is within 12 metres of that level.
Such a huge construction has involved dislocation of the local population and so far 326 families have been moved. Land purchases have cost the state over TL 100 million.
It is estimated that on completion, the project will provide 75 million cubic meters of water yearly for the island, 15 of which will be used as drinking water and the rest for irrigation.
The annual capacity of the planned pipeline is much more than the amount needed by North Cyprus. Since the planning phase, it has been suggested that the surplus could be offered as a goodwill gesture to the Southern Cyprus to speed up the peace process.
The Century project is expected to be completed next year.