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Phase I of the GMMR, with a price tag of $5.5bn, commenced in 1984 and since 1991 has transported two million cubic metres of water daily from the immense Sarir and Tazerbo basins to the coastal strip between Sirte and Benghazi, 1200 km north.
Phase II, costing just over $8bn, carries 2.5 million cubic metres per day from the Murzuq Basin, feeding the cities between Sirte and Tripoli, Libya's capital, which received its first supplies of GMMR water in September 1996.
Total production of the GMMR comes to 6.43 million cubic metres a day, using 1,149 production wells, most of them more than 500 metres deep.
Without the GMMR, it is evident that Libya would soon face a crisis of enormous proportions.
To put things into perspective, the total quantity of cement used to build the GMMR is enough to build a concrete road from Tripoli to Sydney, Australia.
"I think it's quite clear," said Elgaoud, who as secretary of the People's Committee has overall responsibility for the GMMR's management and implementation.
By comparison, the GMMR provides a whopping nine cubic metres of fresh water for that same Libyan dinar.
Nippon Koei UK, the British subsidiary of Japanese company Nippon Koei, has submitted conceptual designs for phase three of the project to the GMMR Authority.
GMMR piped water will also be used to enable the growth of the tourist industry along the coast.
During the 1990s, Libya concentrated upon developing the GMMR, but has now embarked upon a two pronged approach.
Whether through such grand schemes as the GMMR or the more modest capacities of the new desalination plants, foreign companies are beginning to play a bigger role in Libyan development and in the Libyan economy.
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- GMM Tai Hub Co., Ltd.