Spain’s Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) has been awarded the Eur 248 million ($296 million) contract to upgrade and rehabilitate a 95-kilometre rail link between Annaba and Ramdane Djamel in the northeast.

Mobilisation is under way on the contract, which calls for the doubling of the existing single-track line in each direction and the rehabilitation of the existing line. Construction is expected to begin by early May, but the duration of the contract has not yet been confirmed. ‘We are still in talks with the client on the length of the construction period,’ a company spokesperson told MEED in late February.

OHL will take an 85 per cent stake in the project, with the balance to be held by the client, state rail company Societe Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires (SNTF). SNTF is also evaluating bids for three new high-speed rail links: a 320-kilometre line between Bordj Bou Arreridj and Khemis Miliana; a 260-kilometre link between Boumedfaa, in Ain Defla municipality, and Djelfa; and a 240-kilometre line from Touggourt to Hassi Messaoud in the south.

Bids were submitted in late November, but according to project sources an award date has not yet been set.

The projects form part of the government’s AD 500,000 million ($6,900 million) programme to upgrade the country’s rail infrastructure.