ALGERIA: Railway development agency ANESRIF has awarded a joint venture of ETRHB Haddad and Spanish construction company FCC a €1·23bn contract to build the 66 km Tlemcen - Akkid Abbas section of the route between Oued Tlélat and the Moroccan border. Work is due to take 48 months.

The double-track electrified route will be designed for 220 km/h operation, requiring the construction of 34 viaducts and nine tunnels through the mountainous terrain traversed by first two-thirds of the route. The contract includes signalling and telecommunications systems, as well as the construction of a new station at Maghnia.

The ETRHB Haddad/FCC joint venture has already been awarded a €935·5m contract to build a 185 km section of the High Plateau line between Relizane, Tiaret.

The government's 2009-14 economic development programme includes €110bn for infrastructure development.