Algeria’s Enterprise Metro d’Alger (Ema) is inviting companies to submit bids by 27 September to carry out feasibility studies to build nine new tramway lines in six different cities.

The cities are Tlemcen, Skikda, Blida, Tebessa, Djelfa, Bejaia, Bechar, Algiers West and Biskra.

Algeria is planning to build more than 200 tram lines across 14 cities over the next 10 years. The investment is due to worsening congestion in the major cities across the country. Forecasts show that about 20 cities in Algeria will have populations of more than 200,000 people over the same period.

The Algerian government has pledged to spend $30bn developing its transport infrastructure by 2014.

In February, Ema invited bids for the preliminary design and supervision of construction contracts for two new tram lines. One of the lines will be in Setif and the other will be in Annaba.

Tram and metro projects are already under way in Oran, Constantine and Mostaganem. Ema also invited bids by 12 June for extensions to the Eastern line of the Algiers tram and also for the first line of the Oran tramway.

In May, the first phase of Algiers tramway opened (MEED 12:5:11). The first phase is 7.2 kilometres long and runs from Cinq Maisons to Bordj el-Kiffan district in the eastern suburbs of Algiers. It has 13 stations.

In 2006, a consortium comprising France’s Alstom, Italy’s Todini and local ETRHB won the construction contract for the first line of the tramway. The line was initially expected to be operational in 2009.

Two extensions of the line from Hussein Dey to Bab Ezzouar and another extension between Bordj el-Kiffan and Dergana are already under construction. When these extensions are complete, the line will be a total of 23km and will have 38 stations.