Two months after state power company Sonelgaz issued tender documents for Algeria’s first independent power project (IPP), a clearer indication has emerged of prospective bidders for the 400-2,000-MW plant. Although the tender is described as being extremely complex, about seven international developers are seriously tracking the project. At present, proposals are due to be submitted in early November. However, an extension of time is anticipated given the complex nature of the IPP (MEED 23:6:00).

Prospective bidders are understood to include Edison and Enel, both of Italy, Belgium’s Tractebel, Electricite de France, the US’ Enron Corporation, and two Spanish developers – Iberdrola and Endesa.

Several key issues have still to be finalised on both the site and size of the IPP.

Nevertheless, developers have drawn some comfort from reports that the project is receiving strong backing from the World Bank and that its affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), may possibly participate in the development, which would improve the project’s bankability.

‘The project is a test for Algeria and the developer, ‘ says one prospective bidder.

‘The basic rules of the IPP will have to be respected. If they are, then the project is viable. But we also believe that it is going to be a long process.’