Stadler’s bid is about 6 per cent cheaper than the second best offer of AD 36,365 million ($489 million) submitted by Canada’s Bombardier. France’s Alstom is ranked third on price at AD 40,580 million ($546 million). Spain’s Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles is the only other bidder.

The electric trains will be used on three primarily suburban passenger routes in and around the capital.

A team of Alstom with the locally-based Infrarail and Baticim is completing the electrification of the three suburban lines, which have a total length of 300 kilometres. Deutsche Eisenbahn Consulting (DE-Consult), a subsidiary of German rail company Deutsche Bahn, is the consultant on Algeria’s suburban transport programme (MEED 28:10:05).

Commercial bids are due to be opened at the end of April by SNTF for a major electrification contract covering the east-west line. Four groups of international contractors submitted last November technical bids for the estimated $200 million contract, which covers Annaba-Borj Bou Arreridj, Khemis Miliana-Oran, Ramdane Djamel-Skikda and Beni Mancour-Bejaia.

The bidders are: the German office of Balfour Beatty Rail, with Alcatel, Cegelec and Razel, all of France; Elecnor, with the local SEMI and Spain’s Cobra; Alstom, with Alstom Algerie, INEO-SCLE Ferroviaire of France and Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries; JSC Russian Railways; and Germany’s Siemens, with Siemens Algerie, Rail Electr of Spain and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).