The joint venture partners behind the Timimoun natural gas project in Algeria announced they plan to start building processing and distribution infrastructure by the end of 2009.

France’s Total, Spain’s Cepsa and state energy giant Sonatrach say they have approved the final development plan, which will result in 160 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of natural gas produced at the Timimoun field in the southwest.

The firms plan to start work at the field by the end of 2009. They will drill 40 new wells and build gas gathering and processing facilities as well as a central distribution point which will join up to a new pipeline, being developed by Sonatrach.

The pipeline will link the field to the central Hassi R’Mel distribution hub. Oil and gas contractors in Algeria say they expect the qualification process for construction deals to start soon.