Two international consortiums are fighting it out for the contract to build the eastern line of the Algiers tramway after commercial and technical bids were opened in late April. The project is due to be completed by the first quarter of 2009.

The consortium of France’s Alstom with Italy’s Todini Construction and the local ETRHB Hadad Group is the low bidder at AD 25,623 million ($370.2 million). Germany’s Siemens with Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi and Spain’s Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) is the only other bidder at AD 25,975 million ($375.3 million).

The scope of works includes construction of a 16.3 kilometre tramway running from Carrefour du Ruisseau to the east of the city, through Bordj El-Kiffrane and terminating at Dergana close to the airport. In total, the tramway will comprise 30 stops, bridges and a 42,000-square-metre depot at Bordj El-Kiffrane. The eastern line is expected to carry about 150,000 passengers a day. Work is scheduled to begin in July. A team of Systra and RATP Developpement, both of France and the local Assistance a la Construction is the consultant.

The line is the first of two sections on the eastern line. The second element includes an additional eight stations stretching 6.9 kilometres from Bordj el-Kiffrane to Dergana.

Tenders for the construction of tram systems in Oran and Constantine, both valued at about $380 million, are due out by the summer. Systra has also been awarded the consultancy contract for the line 1 systems work on the Algiers metro. A consortium led by the French office of Siemens signed in January the AD 35,000 million ($473 million) turnkey systems contract. The client on all the projects is L’Entreprise du Metro d’Alger.