13 May 2002 – Algeria’s power and gas distribution company Sonelgaz expects to bring on line its new Algiers 420 MW power plant in June, said a spokesman on Sunday.

The new plant, which has been built in the El Hamma district, is equipped with two gas-powered turbines of 210 MW each, said Sonelgaz’s project manager Kamel Dermouche. The contract to build the plant was awarded to Italian engineering and construction group Ansaldo Energy and cost in total $154m.

“The turbines are under production testing and are expected to be on stream by the end of June,” he said.

The plant is part of a government ten-year programme launched in 2001 and aimed at upgrading the electricity and gas distribution sectors at a total cost of $12bn.

The Algerian government intends to double the country’s electricity out of 6000 MW and increase power exports, particularly to Spain.

The government last year, Electricité de France, Spain’s Endesa, U.S. AES Corp, Canada’s SNC Lavalin and Italy’s Enel in bids for the construction of two power generating plants with a total capacity of 2000 MW.