The contract comprises a 28-month engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase and a 12-year operations and management (O&M) phase. The other remaining bidder on the contract was Germany’s Siemens.

The construction phase calls for the supply and installation of three 400-MW units, each comprised of a 260-270-MW 9FB gas turbine supplied by the US’ General Electric, a 130-MW steam turbine and a heat recovery steam generation unit. The first unit is due to come on stream on 1 July 2008, with the second to follow on 1 August and the third on 1 September. State power company Sonelgaz has signed a 20-year take or pay contract for the power.

The project will be financed by a 70:30 debt/equity split. The debt portion will come from a consortium of local banks led by Banque Exterieur d’Algerie. SNC Lavalin will take a 51 per cent equity share in the project company developing the power station, with AEC likely to take the majority of the remainder. Sonelgaz and state energy company Sonatrach, which currently each hold 35 per cent of the equity in the project company, may retain nominal shares.

AEC plans to launch a tender for a new 600-MW combined cycle power plant at Annaba in the first quarter of 2006.