Brazilian Firm in Bid to Build 750-mile Highway in Algeria

Brazilian construction company Andrade Gutierrez is going to participate in tenders for the construction of a highway to cut Algeria from East to West.

According to the company executive director for institutional relations, Flávio Machado Filho, the organization, through Zagope, its subsidiary in Portugal, will participate in a consortium of Portuguese construction companies to make a bid in the tender.

The group, according to Clóvis Martines, a director at Zagope, will include 13 companies led by Mota-Engil, the largest construction company in Portugal. Participation in each one, however, will be different, depending, among other factors, on experience in highway construction.

Andrade Gutierrez, for example, has over 12,000 miles of highways in its curriculum. The details of the agreement, however, are kept secret.

"This will be a huge construction," stated Martines. The highway will have  750 miles in length and will connect the frontiers of Algeria and Tunisia, in the East, to the Moroccan border, in the West. Today, 90 miles are ready and another 100 are under construction.

The objective of the tender is to build the remaining miles, divided into three lots evaluated at around US$ 2.4 billion each. The consortium is going to compete for two of the stretches.

The enterprise is part of a series of infrastructure projects planned by the Algerian government. In the next five years, Algeria intends to invest US$ 60 billion in various sectors considered essential.

Up to the beginning of last week, according to information supplied by Algérie Presse Service (APS), over 40 large companies from Europe, Asia and the Americas had shown interest in participating in the tender.

This is a deal for very large companies, as the Algerian government demands that for participation the companies must have minimum annual revenues of US$ 2.5 billion. That is why it is necessary to form consortiums.

Andrade Gutierrez initially studied the possibility of establishing a group with another two Brazilian companies, Queiroz Galvão and Camargo Corrêa. However, according to Machado, there was no time to present a proposal by the stipulated ending date, around January 20th.

In case there is an extension, however, the idea of forming an exclusively Brazilian consortium should be retaken. The companies believe that at least six months would be necessary for elaboration of a proposal.

Andrade Gutierrez is one of the largest construction companies in Brazil. Last year, the company’s engineering sector had revenues of around US$ 720 million with business in the country and abroad.

The company also operates in the fields of concessions and telecommunications. The organization controls, for example, the Highway Concession Company (CCR), the largest in the area in Latin America, and is one of the controlling partners of Telemar, the largest telecommunications company in Brazil. The group’s total revenues in 2004 exceeded US$ 1.8 billion.

In Brazil and abroad, the construction company employs over 17,000 people, being 11,126 in the construction sector, 1,047 in the concession area, and 4,853 in telecommunications.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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