Algiers is moving ahead with a $1,000 million programme to install 1,500 MW of alternative energy capacity by 2015, entailing a total investment of more than $1,000 million. The planned new capacity will account for 10 per cent of its total energy mix (MEED 10:3:06).

Under the plan, technical bids are due in early December for the estimated Eur 13 million ($16 million) contract to build and operate the countrys first wind plant, a 10-MW facility at Tindouf near the border with Morocco and Mauritania. The 18-month engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract calls for a 6-MW wind element and a 4-MW diesel component. The scheme also includes a five-year operation and maintenance (O&M) phase. Commercial bids are expected by the end of January, with an award the same day. State-owned alternative energy company New Energy Algeria (NEAL) is the client.

State-owned power regulator Commission de Regulation de lElectricite et du Gaz (CREG) approved in the summer NEALs plans to build a new wind power plant every one-two years for the next decade. The wind-only plants, to be located in the south, will each have capacity of about 10 MW.

NEAL has also completed site selection for the first two of three planned 500-MW solar-hybrid power plants: an estimated $300 million-350 million plant in Aama in the west; and an estimated $400 million facility in Meghayer in the east. The Meghayer plant will also include a 120,000-cubic-metre-a-day brackish water desalination unit. ‘Consultations are under way on which of these projects will be launched first,’ says NEAL chief executive officer Tewfik Hasni. The first tender will be issued in mid-2007.

The three planned solar facilities will be undertaken

as independent power projects (IPPs). Each will comprise

a 75-MW solar power element alongside gas and steam turbines. The successful bidders will

take a 50 per cent stake in the new project companies, with NEAL holding the balance (MEED 2:6:06).