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Five groups have submitted technical bids to the Algerian Energy Company ( AEC) for the construction of two 100,000-cubic-metre-a-day (cm/d) desalination plants in Algiers. They are: Inimaand Barna Investment, both of Spain, the US’ Ionics, Canada’s SNC Lavalinand Geida, a four-strong Spanish consortium led by Cobra Instalaciones & Servicios. The facilities, at Zeralda in west Algiers and Cap Djinet in east Algiers, are to be constructed on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. Technically-qualified bidders are expected to be announced by mid-January 2005.