AT A CEREMONY on January 24, Entreprise Métro d'Alger formally awarded a €380m turnkey contract to a consortium of Siemens, Vinci Construction and CAF for electrical and mechanical systems on the Algerian capital's first metro line.

First proposed in 1981, construction of the metro network began in the early 1990s. Civil works are well advanced on the 9 km first phase of Line 1, which will run from Haã el Badr to Tafourah Grande Poste, serving 10 stations. E&M work is due to be completed in 35 months, which would see the line opening at the end of 2008.

As consortium leader, Siemens will be responsible for trackwork, electrification, signalling and automatic train control including the control centre, telecommunications, and ticketing, as well as project management which will bring its share of the contract to €145m.

Vinci will get €121m for fitting out the nine underground stations and one on the surface, including escalators, ventilation and fire protection measures. Vinci will also build the 16000m2 depot, office and workshops complex. CAF is to supply the fleet of 14 six-car trainsets, which will be derived from the vehicles it is currently delivering to Roma and Madrid.