The scope of works of the contract calls for the construction of a 48-inch diameter, 230-kilometre-long pipeline from Sougeur to Arzew, via Relizane, on the coast. The client will procure the pipe. Construction is expected to take about 20 months.

The scheme is the second of three phases on the local section of the Medgaz undersea pipeline project, which will transport Algerian gas to Spain. In June, local/Spanish group Cosider-MASA was awarded the AD 7,140 million ($97 million) contract to build the first phase between the giant Hassi R’Mel oil and gas basin, where the gas is sourced, to Sougeur (MEED 17:6:05).

Sonatrach is preparing to release soon prequalification documents for the third phase between Arzew and the planned export terminal at Beni Saf. From there the gas will be transmitted via a 200-kilometre subsea pipeline to Almeria in Spain.

The prequalification process is under way for the four packages on the estimated Eur 640 million ($775 million) subsea section of the Medgaz project. International contractors have until 25 July to submit applications. Tenders are expected to be issued by January 2006.