Four 12-18 month contracts are due to be awarded. A local/Portuguese/Chinese team of Infrarail, Somafel and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is low bidder at AD 11,973 million ($170 million) for the largest section of the programme, portion 3. The same group is also low bidder at 1,664 million ($27 million) for portion four. The local Infrafer is lowest on section two at AD 5,211 million ($74 million), while a French/local team of Seco-Rail and Sotref is low bidder at AD 2,405 million ($34 million) on the project’s first portion.

Belgium’s Transurb Technirail has been selected to supervise the implementation of the signalling and telecommunications infrastructure from Ain to Touta. In addition, SNTF has invited local and international companies to submit bids by 5 September on the supply and implementation contract to provide signalling and telecommunications on three lines in the north. The project will cover the Bourdj Bou-Arreridj line, Annaba/Ramdane to Djamal and Khemis/Oued to Sily.

Spain’s Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) has the contract to upgrade and rehabilitate a 95-kilometre line between Annaba and Ramdane Djamel in the northeast. OHL will take an 85 per cent stake in the project, with the balance to be held by SNTF (MEED 3:3:06). The projects form part of the government’s AD 500,000 million ($6,900 million) programme to upgrade the country’s rail infrastructure.