Algeria - Country Commercial Guide
Infrastructure

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-11

Overview

Given its vast territorial expanse and the needs of its large and growing population, Algeria requires significant ongoing investments in its civil infrastructure.  Over the last two decades, the country has invested $12 billion in its road system, including completing two national expressways running from east to west and north to south.  The country has 18 international airports, including a new $600 million international air terminal in Algiers, and 13 seaports.  Algeria maintains the continent’s fourth-largest railway network, with more than 4,500 kilometers of track mainly covering the northern and coastal cities and metro and light rail systems in six major cities.  Due to limited freshwater resources, Algeria is the world’s third-largest water desalinator, with eleven operational facilities and three others under construction (see Opportunities section below).

The government anticipates spending $41 billion between 2020 and 2025 for infrastructure modernization and expansion.  Most of these funds will be directed towards completing unfinished projects, including finalizing its two major expressways, completing a new $280 million airport expansion in Oran, developing 16 new tramways in different cities throughout the country, and extending two metro lines in Algiers.  In addition, by 2030, the government plans to invest around $6 billion to link all Algerian ports to the railway network to facilitate the transport of goods to Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, and Nigeria.  The Algerian government hopes to begin construction of a new deep-water port west of Algiers in the near future, though the plans have been repeatedly delayed since 2018. Despite their relatively small market share, American engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firms are poised to compete for project management and advisory services contracts related to technically complex aspects of the projects above. 

There are a handful of significant buyers in civil infrastructure development.  The primary buyer for road construction and maintenance is the Ministry of Public Works, which works with the Algerian Highway Company (l’Algérienne des Autoroutes) and the National Company of Major Road Works (Sociéte Nationale de Grands Travaux Routiers) to plan and construct projects.  The primary buyer for rail and transit is the Ministry of Transportation, which controls the National Agency for the Planning and Implementation of Railway Investments (L’Agence Nationale d’études et de Suivi de la Réalisation des Investissements Ferroviaires), the national rail operator (Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires), the Algiers Metro Company (Entreprise Metro d’Alger), and the Tramway Development Company (Société d’Exploitation des Tramways).

The level of competition for infrastructure projects varies by project.  Like many Western markets, consortiums of domestic and international firms compete for new projects depending on a project’s specifications.  Infrastructure maintenance is mainly entrusted to Algerian companies, which are continually searching for new methods and technology. Thus, domestic and foreign companies in the market can either be competitors or collaborators, depending on the circumstances. The most significant potential domestic competitor or collaborator is Cosider Group, consisting of ten subsidiaries active in all infrastructure subsectors. Following the recent exit of two big companies ETRHB Haddah and KOUGC, which were embroiled in corruption scandals with the former government, Cosider is the sole remaining large domestic EPC firm in the market. 

Foreign competition varies depending on the subsector. The primary foreign competitors for road design and construction contracts are Özgun (Turkey) and CITIC (China).  The main foreign competitors in airport design and construction are Pointec (Spain) and the CSCEC (China). The primary foreign competitor in port design and construction is CSCEC (China). In rail design and construction, the primary competitors are Yepi Merkezi (Turkey), CRCC (China), Astaldi, and per Condotti d’Acqua (Italy). In transit, the leading foreign competitors are Dywidag (Germany), Yapi Merkezi (TURKEY), RATP and Colas Rail (France), Corsan, Rover, Elecnor, SENER, and Assisna (Spain), FERCONSULT (Portugal).

Leading Sub-Sectors/Best Prospects

  • Roads: road maintenance, toll stations, lighting stations, and resting areas.
  • Rail: modernization of narrow tracks and line electrification.
  • Transit: transit operating systems, security, and monitoring systems.

Opportunities

In addition to the opportunities related to transportation infrastructure described above, there are multiple opportunities in water desalination in Algeria as the country faces a growing water crisis.  Nationwide, there are 94 dams, 172 wastewater stations, and 11 seawater desalination plants. The Algerian Energy Company (AEC) and the National Company of Civil Engineering and Building (GCB) plan to build six desalination stations, with capacities ranging from 80,000 m3/day to 400,000 m3/day.  American companies offering superior technology and specialized engineering, procurement, and construction services in water desalination should contact CS Algeria to learn more about these near-term opportunities.

Resources

  • Please visit the BAOSEM website, the Official Gazette for Government Procurement Tenders, for more detailed information on water desalination procurement.

Major Trade Shows

Commercial Specialist

  • For further information and assistance in exploring opportunities in Algeria’s infrastructure sector, contact Jugurtha Rabia, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Algiers, Jugurtha.rabia@trade.gov