SYSTRA and SNTF have signed a memorandum of understanding as part of the October 26 meeting of the Algerian French Economic Joint Committee (COMEFA). The MOU provides for the creation of a joint venture under Algerian law to conduct studies, monitor and control rail systems projects in Algeria. The company will be 49% owned by SYSTRA and 51% by SNTF.
“The new company, whose fields of expertise will cover signalling, telecommunications, electrical traction and operational engineering, will further accelerate achievement of the ambitious targets for the Algerian rail network, including among other projects the deployment by 2020 of a latest-generation rail network and equipment”, stated Pierre Verzat, Chairman of SYSTRA’s executive board.
Through their joint venture, SNTF and SYSTRA will develop local engineering skills with a strong “systems” technology component, essential to complete the demanding development and modernisation programme for a rail network that is planned to grow from 4,000 km to 12,000 km in the next 10 years. A joint venture closely tied to rail operator SNTF will make it possible to meet these demands by drawing on local resources and to develop Algerian know-how in the key fields of rail electrification and signalling. Around thirty Algerian engineers will be recruited and trained. Experience acquired in similar projects has shown just how closely railway systems engineering is linked to operational issues and why it needs to remain in the operator’s hands, ensuring quicker progression from the upstream design phases of projects to the downstream phases of monitoring and project management.