France’s Systrahas been selected for the consultancy contract for line 1 systems work on the Algiers metro, while construction of the new line has been delayed by continuing negotiations on the terms of the contract.

The 36-month consultancy contract includes the review of basic designs on the nine-kilometre, 10-station line between Tafourah and Hai el-Badr undertaken by Systra in the late 1980s and early 1990s but interrupted by civil unrest, and the completion of detailed designs. It also covers the supervision of procurement, construction and installation work on the new line, and includes a two-year warranty period following construction completion.

A consortium of France’s Vinci, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF)of Spain and the French office of Germany’s Siemenshas been in line for the Eur 400 million ($480 million) turnkey systems contract since October, but the deal has still to be signed. Signature of both the consultancy contract and the systems contract is expected by early February (MEED 28:10:05).

The turnkey contract calls for: the supply of tracks and rolling stock; provision of energy, signalling and telecommunications systems and station facilities; construction of a main administrative building of at least five storeys, consisting of offices, a train control centre and a power control centre; and completion of part-built workshops.

The station superstructures are being built as part of the civil works package under way by Groupement Algero Allemande du Metro d’Alger, a consortium of Germany’s Dywidag International and local firms Cosider Groupe and Infrafer. Nine of the 10 stations have been built, with the final node set for completion by June. The entire system is due to be completed by the end of 2008, but is likely to be delayed.

‘The [systems] contract for line 1 construction hasn’t even been signed yet, so the project is already behind,’ says a source close to the project. ‘If any of the metro is operational by 2008, it will only be a small part.’

The financing for the construction of line 1 is yet to be finalised, but CAF is understood to have its own financing in place for the provision of rolling stock. The French government has agreed to provide project equity in proportion to the participation of French companies in the consortium. The remainder will come from the client, Entreprise du Metro d’Alger (MEED 30:7:04).

The Iberian consortium Ensitrans, comprising Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona and Scenair,bothof Spain, and Portugal’s Metropolitana de Lisboa, has been awarded the contract to examine and update existing studies for a 3.5-kilometre extension to line 1. A tender for the contract to build the extension is expected to be issued following the opening of line 1 (MEED 5:8:05).