The Algerian Energy Company (AEC) is looking for contractors to build and operate two seawater desalination plants in western Algeria. The first will be located in the city of Mostaganem with a capacity of producing 100,000 cubic metres of clean water per day and the second will be further west toward the Moroccan board in the city of Tlemcen with a 50,000 cubic metre capacity.

The project format will be similar to the ones already in place. The successful bidder(s) will establish separate joint venture firms with AEC, which is composed of Sonatrach and utility firm Sonelgaz, and a third company, the water firm Algrienne Des Eaux (ADE).

Together these companies will be in charge of designing, financing, building and operating the plants. Interested company can withdraw the requirement documents at AEC for a fee of US$1,500.

The current tender will be handled in two phases. The first concerns the review of the technical offers from the biding companies. These latter will have to submit their offers along with the administrative papers required by the tender and a financial guarantee set at US$300,000.

The technical offers must be received before 10:00am Algiers time on September 14, 2004. At that time, the opening of the bid offers will occur in a public setting at AEC headquarters.

After the pre-selection phase based on the technical details is completed, the chosen companies will submit another offer based on the financial details. In this case, the opening of the bids will be a public event.

AEC is using the business models of similar ongoing and planned projects. Two seawater desalination plants are under construction and others will soon start construction work.

The latest such project is the Beni Saf plant awarded to the Spanish group Geida, composed of Cobra, Codesa and the Sadyt companies.

The group has made the most competitive offer for the Beni Saf project with the lowest cost for the production of 150,000 cubic meters of water per day. The Spanish group controls 60% of the project, while the remaining 40% is owned by AEC and ADE.