The Spanish firm Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA, ranked 13th on ENR's list of the top global contractors, has won a $1.72-billion contract in partnership with Algeria's ETRHB Haddad to build a 66-kilometer rail line in Algeria. The line will connect the city of Tlemcen, the western terminus of the country's rail network, with the town of Akkid Abbas on the Moroccan border.

Spanish Contractor Wins Rail Contract
Map: Justin Reynolds

The contract was awarded by the Algerian government through the Agence National d'Etudes et Suivi de Realisations des Investissements Ferroviaires, or ANESRIF, an agency created in 2005 to improve the country's railway system.

The contract calls for the construction of a double-tracked electrified line, a new passenger station in Maghnia and signaling systems. Construction is slated to begin in late 2011 and be completed by 2016. The workforce is expected to peak at 1,000, according to Pedro Gomez, the international business development director for FCC.

This is the second railway contract won by FCC in Algeria, following a $1.3-billion contract awarded last year for a segment connecting Relizane, Tiaret and Tissemsilt in the central region.