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Chinese Firms Win Bid to Build Algerian Road
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CITIC Group and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) have beaten world-famous contractors to win bids for the world's largest road project in Algeria.

The Algerian Government yesterday told the consortium formed by the two Chinese companies that they had succeeded in getting the contracts for the central and western sections of the Algerian East-West Highway project.

CITIC and CRCC beat 7 bidding consortiums consisting of world giants, including US Bechtel, Japanese Taisei and German Bilfinger.

"It shows that Chinese contractors are becoming top global contractors in terms of both technology and bidding tactics," said Diao Chunhe, deputy president with the China International Contractors Association.

He explained that the project is not a simple engineering contact, but one which reflects higher competitiveness in integrative technology.

The final contracted volume is expected to reach US$7 billion.

The Algerian East-West Highway will be 1,216 kilometers long, of which 927 kilometers has yet to be built.

The two sections won by Chinese companies are 528 kilometers in total. The east section was won by a group of Japanese companies.

The deal represents the largest volume for a single overseas contracting project and the highest technological level among all projects conducted by Chinese contractors, experts said.

The two companies' promise to train local Algerian workers, provide jobs for local people to help Algerian companies improve project execution abilities also helped them win the deal, according to the Algerian Government.

The success of CITIC-CRCC will help to enhance the development of bilateral economic and trade co-operation between Algeria and China, said Wu Xilin, director of the international economic co-operation department of the Ministry of Commerce.

He said it also helped enlarge the market share of Chinese contracting companies in Algeria and fulfilled the country's strategy of "going-abroad."

Chinese contractors saw an overseas turnover of around US$21.8 billion last year.

However, Chinese firms were still "co-stars" in the international contracting market.

According to the statistics of Engineering News-Record, a US magazine for the construction industry, 49 Chinese firms were listed last year in the world's top 225 international contractors.

However, the total overseas turnover of those Chinese firms accounted for 6 per cent of that of the 225 international contractors.

(China Daily May 18, 2006)

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