Three consortia submitted technical proposals for Zeralda, Djinet and Oran. They are: Canada’s SNCLavalinwith the US’ Ionics; a Spanish group comprising Cobra, Abensur, Codesaand Sadyt; and Spain’s BarnaInvestment with Lemna International of the US. The same three consortia plus a group comprising EBDGroup, Contracting & Trading (CAT),bothof Lebanon,the US’ Black & Veatch International,and the UK’s SevernTrentsubmitted bids for the Skikda plant.

The SNC/Ionics team failed to provide a bid bond for the Djinet plant and have been given until 23 December to submit one.

Once technical evaluation has been completed, commercial bids for each plant will be invited. AEC plans to award the Skikda contract first, followed by Oran and then Algiers. Construction on the projects is expected to start at the end of 2004 with the plants beginning operations in 2006 at the earliest.

Under the terms of the tenders the successful bidders, along with the AEC and AlgeriennedesEaux(AdE),will take a stake in new project companies which will undertake the design, construction, operation and management of the desalination plants. The project companies will also be responsible for owning and financing the plants. In each case, output from the plant will be sold to an offtake group comprising state energy company Sonatrachand AdE (MEED 12:9:03).