Under the terms of the deal, the Montreal-based contractor will build the 120,000-cubic-metre-a-day plant in a joint venture with Spain’s Acciona.

The two companies jointly hold a 51 per cent stake in Myah Tipaza, the project company set up to develop the facility, after winning the 25-year build-own-operate concession in 2007 (MEED 8:8:07). The other shareholder in Myah Tipaza is the state-owned Algerian Energy Company.

Drinking water from the plant will be bought by state energy company Sonatrach and Algerienne des Eaux. The offtake is guaranteed on a take-or-pay basis.

The reverse osmosis plant is 80 per cent financed by Credit Populaire Algerie, while 20 per cent will be provided by the project company. The plant is due to begin operating in September 2009.