The European Investment Bank (EIB) has extended a Eur 225 million ($201 million) loan for Algeria's biggest drinking water project. The loan, the second largest that the EIB has made to the country in more than 10 years, has tenor of 25 years, including a six-year grace period. EIB declined to disclose the pricing.
The loan will contribute towards the financing for the estimated Eur 540 million ($482 million) Taksebt water transfer network supplying drinking water to Algiers and several towns in the Kabylie region to the east of the capital. The project, one of the largest of its type in the Mediterranean basin, has already benefited from two EIB loans, totalling Eur 83 million ($74 million), towards the construction of the earthfill dam at Taksebt.
The transfer scheme covers the construction of an 84-kilometre conduit, including four tunnels measuring 12 kilometres in total, to carry water from the Taksebt reservoir to the treatment station at Boudouaou. Eight international companies are understood to have prequalified for the construction package, which also covers treatment and pumping facilities. The conveyor system is expected to take four years to build, and work is scheduled to start next year (Construction, MEED Special Report, 27:7:01, page 26).
EIB has provided the latest loan to Banque Algerienne de Developpement, which will pass on the proceeds to the client, the National Dams Agency (ANB). ANB, which works under the umbrella of the Water Resources Ministry, is in charge of the country's surface water resources, and will gradually assume responsibility for the construction and management of all major water transfer facilities.
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