Algeria suffers from a chronic water deficit, worsened by persistent bad weather and high population growth in large urban centres. The water resources strategy focuses on expanding storage facilities by building new dams and desalination plants and better rehabilitation/management of existing infrastructure. A new water code was adopted in 2005, targeting reduction of the critical supply-demand gap, and the Government has earmarked public investment for a 10 year integrated water resource management initiative. A number of BOT and concession projects will be launched over the short and medium terms.
The time frame has been stepped up for urgent investments and alternative schemes launched for water production, such as desalination plants under BOT schemes. An ambitious programme has been initiated to attract the participation of private international operators in water distribution in the largest cities and World Bank assistance has been requested for this purpose. Many opportunities have been identified in the various market segments (infrastructure, processing, purification, distribution, studies.). Currently, the main initiatives include:
Ongoing construction of a hydraulic complex at Beni-Haroun in the region of Constantine, which counts several dams, the second largest pumping station in Africa, and several water purification units: At the end of 2001, the ALSTOM group was awarded the contract for pumping operations, worth EUR 150 million;
The contract for the Kourdate Acerdoune dam was awarded to the RAZEL company, worth about EUR 110 million;
The Bredeah wastewater demineralisation plant is being implemented by the Ondeo-Degremont company;
Rehabilitation of the water purification networks of Algiers and Oran was entrusted to SAUR for Oran and SEM for Algiers. Multilateral investors and donors also give priority to the water sector, with $4 billion in investment planned over the next fifteen years. The majority of building sites will be accompanied by studies and contracts for assistance to supervise the work. Projects planned by the Algerian government include the following:
Finalisation of the Beni-Haroun complex, expected to encompass civil engineering works (dams, tanks, reservoirs, tunnels) and hydroelectric equipment;
Construction of the water supply network serving the city of Algiers and settlements along the Tizi Ouzou-Algiers corridor that uses water resources based in Taksebt. This project, estimated at a cost of some EUR 600 million, was allotted to the French-Canadian consortium SNC Lavalin-Ondeo Degremont Services;
The MAO project for the water supply network serving Mostaganem, Arzew and Oran includes the construction of dams, water pipes, and pumping and treatment stations;
A drinking water supply project for the corridor of Chlef, Tenes, and El Guelta;
Rehabilitation of distribution networks for Annaba, Constantine and Jijel;
Construction of desalination plants to supply the Arzew oil terminal as well as the cities of Algiers, Oran and Skikda. The main projects launched to date are at Arzew and Skikda, where power stations will also be built.
Wednesday 7 February 2007, by AFII - ANIMA