According to the Algerian state news service, the agreement will be signed during a visit of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in mid-June.

Algerian Energy Minister Chekib Khelil said the accord would provide for “technology transfer between the two parties in addition to France’s technical and financial contribution”.

Algeria has two experimental nuclear reactors monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Like many Middle East countries, it is seeking to diversify its sources of energy and free up its gas reserves for lucrative export deals.

It has already signed two nuclear energy agreements with the US and Russia.

The groundwork for the nuclear agreement was made during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s state visit to Algeria last December (MEED 14:12:07).

French firms also signed nuclear co-operation deals with the UAE earlier this year during Sarkozy’s visit to the federation.