Tenders on the two plants were cancelled and reissued in the summer following the submission of technical bids in late 2003. The Cobra consortium of SNC Lavalin and Ionics, and Barna, in a consortium with Lemna International of the US, all submitted bids in the original tendering process.

The successful bidders, along with AEC and Algerienne des Eaux ( AdE), will take a stake in new project companies which will undertake the design, construction, operation and management of the estimated $100 million-120 million desalination plants. The project companies will also be responsible for owning and financing the plants, which will employ reverse osmosis (RO) technology. In each case, output from the plant will be sold to an offtake group comprising state energy company Sonatrachand AdE (MEED 20:8:04).

Technical bids are due by 30 November on a 100,000-cm/d plant at Mostagenem and a 50,000-cm/d facility at Tlemcen. Companies have until February 2005 to submit technical bids for the BOO contract on the 50,000-cm/d desalination plant at Jijel (MEED 5:11:04).